Beauty has no set weather, no sure place;
Her careful pageantries are here as there,
With nothing lost.
— Lizette Woodworth Reese
Summery 70s and 80s are the rule for this week. Frost is rare at this stage of September, but chances for a light freeze increase to 10 percent on the 13th and 14th as the third high pressure system of the month comes through.
The rainiest days are typically the 9th and the 12th, each having a 40 percent chance of showers. The other days of the period carry just half those odds. Sept. 12 marks the beginning of a decline in percentage of daily sunshine, a decline that continues through December (the year’s darkest month).
Lunar phase and lore
The Puffball Mushroom Moon is a crescent moon until it enters its second quarter at 6:49 a.m. on Sept. 9. After that, it waxes gibbous towards the halfway point of its cycle, full moon on the 16th.
Lunar and seasonal stress will be low throughout the week, making this period ideal for surgery and for working with children and with livestock. The week should also be favorable for serious discussions with parents and partners; the moon, at least, will not interfere with your emotions.
Angling should be most productive in evenings, when the moon is overhead, and especially prior to the arrival of the Sept. 12 cold front.
Plant late-autumn greens and radishes, transplant perennials, and put in flowering shrubs and trees as the moon grows fatter, especially under Scorpio on the 8th through the 11th and under Capricorn on the 13th through the 16th.
Sept. 9: You may be feeling a surge of energy as the days grow shorter. Take advantage of it while it lasts. Typically, the autumn surge lasts only six to eight weeks.
Sept. 10: Before dawn, Orion has emerged fully from the east. January’s Leo and its brightest star, Regulus, are rising from the Atlantic Ocean, and the Great Square is following Hercules into the far west.
Sept. 11: Doves stop calling in the morning until February.
Sept. 12: In the final two weeks of September, a rapid deterioration of all the wildflowers occurs. Except for the few varieties that open during second spring (late September through November), the final species that grow to maturity within the temporal limits of this year are now in the process of bearing fruit.
Sept. 13: When autumn leafturn starts along the 40th parallel, the deciduous trees are bare in northern Canada. In New England and in the Rocky Mountains, foliage colors are approaching their best.
Sept. 14: More hickory nuts, more acorns come down. Black walnuts are all over the ground.
Sept. 15: The huge pink mallows of the wetlands have died, heads dark, leaves disintegrating. Scattered in the pastures, the milkweed pods are ready to open.
Field and garden
Sept. 9: Seed sweet Williams and sweet rockets to provide May color before lilies start to bloom in June.
Sept. 10: One fourth of the corn silage has often been harvested by the middle of September’s second week.
Sept. 11: In northern fields, the planting of winter wheat is getting underway.
Sept. 12: Ragweed season comes to a close. Tobacco is about two-thirds cut along the Ohio River.
Sept. 13: Light frost season gathers momentum, and the chances for a light freeze by this time in the year approach 50 percent per week.
Sept. 14: Black walnut, buckeye, cottonwood and serviceberry leaf-fall seasons accelerate i just as winter wheat and barley planting time commences on the farm.
Sept. 15: Along most of the 40th Parallel, cornfields are brown. Soybean fields are yellow and shedding, and some fields have lost all their leaves.
Deep in the woods, tall wood nettle, wingstem, ironweed, and touch-me-nots have obscured the web of spring and summer, all the trilliums, the violet cress, the ragwort, the purple phlox, toothwort, Jack-in-the pulpit and bluebells, honewort, waterleaf.
In my garden, giant hosta leaves have covered the foliage of snowdrops, aconites, crocus and scilla. Pigweed, creeping Charlie, wild violets, waterleaf, dandelions and amaranth have filled in all around the remnants of the April windflowers. The stalks of hyacinths, daffodils and tulips have disintegrated under the August zinnias and Mexican sunflowers.
A listing of those flowers is like a recitation of historical facts. Like dates or events in human history, they are lost or do not make sense unless they are recreated in my mind. Memory and imagination tell the stories, fill in the setting with details of sound, taste, texture and color and odor, connect the stories to other stories.
The meaning of natural history, like the meaning of human history, is dependent on my reenactment of what I saw happen or of what I believed happened. Without the thinking of or the telling of what has occurred, things lose their place, become disconnected, make no sense.
So I go back over what has taken place in the woods and garden. I relive as best I can the steps which brought me here, review in recollection their sequences pulled from underneath the overgrowths of previous phases.
Send your observations to Poor Will’s Almanack at P.O. Box 431, Yellow Springs, Ohio 45387 or to firstname.lastname@example.org.