Seasons pursuing each other,
the plougher ploughs, the mower mows,
and the winter grain falls in the ground.
— Walt Whitman
The Almanack Horoscope
Moon Time: The Apple Cider Moon becomes completely full on November 4 at 12:23 a.m. It reaches perigee, its position closest to Earth on November 6. Rising in the late afternoon and setting in the morning, this moon moves overhead in the middle of the night.
Sun Time: Daylight Saving Time ends at 2:00 a.m. on Sunday, November 5. Set clocks back one hour at 2:00 a.m. The end of Daylight Saving Time is often associated with automobile accidents due to changes in commuting times in morning and evening.
Planet Tiime: Now in Libra, Venus reaches conjunction with Jupiter on November 13, the best Venus-Jupiter display of the year. Venus hugs the eastern horizon before sunrise until the middle of the month when its brilliance is overcome by the sun.
Star Time: Late Autumn brings back Orion as an easy marker of sky time. By 11:00 p.m., he has emerged from the east, following a cluster of seven stars, the Pleiades and the red eye of Taurus, Aldebaran. A few hours before dawn, all those stars have moved to fill up the southern sky.
The Shooting Stars Time: Obscured by the full moon, the Taurid shower brings only a handful of meteors per hour on November 4 and 5.
The November 6 front typically sharpens the divide between middle and late autumn, bringing much harsher conditions. As the percentage of cloud cover increases, winds gradually reach their winter levels, and full moon on the 4th and lunar perigee on the 6th will chill those winds.
Zeitgebers: Events in Nature that Tell the Time of Year: Late fall, a three to four week transition period of chilly temperatures, gray skies, and killing frosts, usually arrives this week. Witch hazels bloom, marking the shift of the season.
Forsythia sometimes blooms again. Fall raspberries usually decline. White mulberry trees often turn yellow overnight. Chances for a thunderstorm virtually disappear until February. Red fruits stand out on the flowering crabs and the hawthorns. Bright coralberry shines through the fading undergrowth. Indoors, mature aloe plants send up flower spikes. Christmas cacti are budding
Farm and Garden Time: The upcoming full moon, lunar perigee, the end of Daylight Saving Time, erratic behaviour from deer in estrus and the likely arrival of the first cold fronts of the month create “perfect storm” conditions for bad weather and problems on the road and on the farm.
Prepare mulch for November protection of sensitive vegetables, perennials and shrubs. Wrap new trees with burlap to help them ward off winter winds. Complete fall field and garden tillage before the November rains. Transplant perennials, shrubs and trees.
Gardeners should put in spring bulbs and dormant roses, and mulch perennials. Plant next year’s sweet peas and spinach. Set garlic cloves for spring. Seed the very last winter wheat. Fertilize trees and shrubs when their foliage is down: leaf drop should be complete on most plantings except late oaks, silver maples, forsythia and Osage orange. Start paperwhites and amaryllis bulbs for holiday blossoms (and selling).
Marketing Time: Consider making Thanksgiving cards by hand. Include them in your farmers’ market displays. Woodburn designs on your dry gourds. Shine your gourds that have not dried to make them more appealing for holiday decorations. Then move your Indian corn to market for Thanksgiving sales.
Mind and Body Time: Some studies suggest that November is the worst month of the year for depression. The radical change in leaf cover, the increased cold and cloud cover and the approach of the holidays can bring on severe bouts of Seasonal Affective Disorder (S.A.D). As you begin to feel a little down, take action right away: exercise, eat moderately, go outside more often and be especially nice to everyone.
Creature Time (for fishing, hunting, feeding, bird watching): Fish when the moon is beneath the Earth at midday this week. The days prior to the November 2 and November 6 cold fronts should produce the most strikes. Leaf fall continues throughout the woods, improving the likelihood that hunters will find game. Full moon on the 4th and lunar perigee on the 6th will increase activity of deer and small animals. Most migratory birds have left Clark County by this point in the year, but you may spot a Mourning Warbler, a Myrtle Warbler, a Bonaparte’s Gull, a Forster’s Tern, and an American Woodcock heading south.
November 1, 2016: Sun and near-record high of 79 this afternoon, a return to summer with a sudden flurry of butterly and honeybee activity. In the zinnias, a common buckeye (junonia coenia) butterly, a cabbage white, a pale sulphur, small bumble bees and honeybees. High leaf color holds throughout town. The hops leaves are dark and withered, and the grape vines are all pale, winding through the honeysuckles.
The tulipo and the dogwoods are deep purple-scarlet, the red maples veined with gold and pink, some silver maples turning palomino. On the way to the graveyard near the wetland area, I saw two more sulphurs and four more cabbage whites, an azure, and what appeared to be a hackberry butterfly (asterocampa celtis). At about 3:15 p.m., a long flock of grackles flew across the north end of the city, traveling northeast to southwest.
A vibrant chorus of katydids and crickets sang out this mild evening in the high 60s, every creature content with a new lease on time.
Poor Will’s Almanack for 2018 is now available. Order yours from Amazon, or, for an autographed copy, order from www.poorwillsalmanack.com. You can also purchase Bill Felker’s new book, Home is the Prime Meridian: Essays on Time and Space and Spirit, at the same sites.