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Poor Will's Almanack: September 5 - 11, 2023

 Full Moon rise 2022, Chennai, India
Thangaraj Kumaravel

Poor Will’s Almanack at the transition time to Early Autumn the time of the Sweet Peach Moon, and the Sun in Virgo.

Catching late summer in its great circular web, the rare giant arabesque orbweaver spider spins its patterns in time with the last wildflowers.

In the woods, webs of the smaller micrathena spiders often block my paths.

And, as though spooked by the webs of the arachnids, hickory nuts all come down, and windfall apples and peaches cover the ground to feed the yellow jackets.

The markers of late summer, the burdock, ragweed, knotweed and boneset all retreat. The damp mornings and evenings call toadstools from the lawn, and fat, white puffball mushrooms from the woods floor.

Touch-me-not pods explode now when tapped lightly.

The bulbous, bumpy fruits of the Osage orange thump to the ground, their gradual decay over the next six months measuring the days to March.

The rich scent of late summer pollen is almost gone by end of the week, replaced by the more pungent odor of the fading plants.

Sycamores, locust, elms, box elders, lindens and redbuds hint their autumn colors. Bittersweet berries are orange now, elderberries deep purple, all of that and morewhen the orbweavers and the micrathena spiders weave their final webs.

This is Bill Felker with Poor Will’s Almanack. I’ll be back again next week with more notes on the seasons. In the meantime, look for the spiders of autumn capturing the signs of the season in their webs.

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Bill Felker has been writing nature columns and almanacs for regional and national publications since 1984. His Poor Will’s Almanack has appeared as an annual publication since 2003. His organization of weather patterns and phenology (what happens when in nature) offers a unique structure for understanding the repeating rhythms of the year.