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Poor Will's Almanack: November 6 - 12, 2018

frost on fallen leaves
Kenneth Spencer
/
Flickr Creative Commons

I was resting in my blue lawn chair in the afternoon sun, looking at the zinnias that had survived to this point in the autumn. Frost had been forecast for the night, but the afternoon was warm, no wind at all. One buzzard was drifting above me in the clear sky. Around the zinnias,  flowers of the New England asters were gray, round tufts of seeds.

Nursing a small kitchen glass of white wine, I watched for butterflies and bees. First came a silver-spotted skipper, inconspicuous brown, fitting easily with the browning leaves and stems of the zinnias. A few bumblebees traveled from flower to flower, lighting for only a moment before moving on. Yellow jackets fed on the hummingbird feeder, the hummingbirds long gone.

Then a monarch sailed above me, and when I went inside to check my notes, I found it was the latest I’d ever seen a monarch in my yard.

This evening, a great green katydid got in the house and fluttered over and sat beside me as I worked at the greenhouse table. She had come in to escape the frost predicted for morning, and we talked about the indoor flowers and the plants around us and the benefits and fortune of this paradise.

This is Bill Felker with Poor Will’s Almanack. I’ll be back again next week with notes for the second week of Late Fall and the second week of the Starling Murmuration Moon. In the meantime, frost is on the way. Find a warm retreat and tell someone how lucky you are.

 

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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.