© 2024 WYSO
Our Community. Our Nation. Our World.
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Poor Will's Almanack: October 24 - 30, 2023

Jack-o'-lanterns facing each other.
William Warby
Wikimedia Commons
Jack-o'-lanterns facing each other.

Poor Will’s Almanack for the days of middle fall, the time of the pumpkin moon and the time of the sun in autumn's Scorpio halfway between equinox and winter solstice.

Now the land hangs on the hinge of deep autumn.

It's a time when early frost threatens in the mornings. It's the time of the most dramatic coloration and collapse of summer.

It's the time the maples shed and cover the green of city lawns. It's the time that the bright leaves of ginkgo trees collapse to create a skirt of gold their trunks.

Across the fields, coneflowers and cup plants and Jerusalem artichokes turn brittle from age and the cold. Knotweed withers. Goldenrod flowers darken and turn to downy tufts.

The blossoms of the last asters go to seed. Hosta leaves turn honey gold. Sedum seeds are dark now ready to scatter, their stalks weak and leaning, their leaves changing from pale green to ochre to mottled brown.

And ...this hinge-time is the time for next year's skunk cabbage to peer out from the wetlands' muck. It is time for yellow witch hazel blossoms to appear in urban gardens.

It's time for the last monarch butterflies to sail over the last roses. Migrating Asian lady beetles may show up at your house for winter lodging.,

It's the time frogs look for shelter in muddy sloughsand it's time deer mate in the night.

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, watch the gate of the year swing open during this cross-quarter time, revealing the vast fields of renewal.

Stay Connected
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.