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Poor Will's Almanack: September 20 - 26, 2016

goldenrod in the fall
Bridget Leyendecker
/
Flickr Creative Commons

I wander into the chilly, wet morning of an old farm on equinox, swallows circling above me, crows, blue jays and cardinals and mockingbirds, ground crickets and field crickets and tree crickets accompanying me on my walk.

Common ragweed everywhere has gone to seed. In patches of soil between slabs of old cement and blacktop grow ancient chicory and Queen Anne's lace, horseweed past its best, pink smartweed in large clumps, blushing wild dogwood, small white asters (two tiny bees huddled- one on top of the other - on one aster blossom), tall goldenrod full bloom.

Japanese honeysuckle, poison ivy and Virginia creeper, with tones of ochre and maroon and yellow, hang to the ruined walls of the barn. Cardinals are chipping their call notes around me, just out of sight. Small moths, frightened at my approach, flutter away into the mist.

I pass boneset seeding in the creek, and hundreds of yards of thistles, down matted and shaggy. In the nearby field overgrown to a woods of scrub box elders, sassafrass and locusts and cotton, I see one blue and two buckeye butterflies Along the road to the empty farmhouse, black walnut trees, planted in a row, have lost  all their leaves.

This is Bill Felker with Poor Will’s Almanack. I’ll be back again next week with notes for the fourth week of early fall. In the meantime, take a walk, look around.

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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.