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Poor Will's Almanack: October 21 - 27, 2014

Mike Deal
Flickr Creative Commons

Tonight, when Earth crosses the vast remains of Halley’s Comet, it reveals that debris as the Orionid meteors, shooting past the post-midnight sword and shield of the constellation Orion in the southeast.

Then on Thursday, October 23rd, the dark Toad and Frog Migration Moon replaces the Hickory Nutting Moon, calling the last of the toads and frogs to find their winter habitats, often the same location in which they emerged as tadpoles.

New moon on the 23rd coincides the sun’s entry into Scorpio, a passage also called Cross-Quarter Day on which the solar position appears to be halfway between autumn equinox and winter solstice.

After Cross-Quarter Day, almost all the leaves come down in the northern half of the country, and across the South, solar Scorpio tints the foliage and forecasts winter. And this year’s Cross-Quarter Day is even marked with partial solar eclipse which begins a little after 3:30 in the afternoon and continues into the sunset.

This is Bill Felker with Poor Will’s Almanack. I’ll be back again next week with notes for the fourth week of middle fall and the second week of the Toad and Frog Migration Moon, the second week of the sun in Scorpio. In the meantime, watch for shooting stars, hail Cross-Quarter Day, and look for the dimming of the sun in its eclipse.

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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.