August 7-13, 2017
In her suit of green arrayed, Hear her singing in the shade - Caty-did, Caty-did, Caty-did! -Philip Freneau
Almanac horoscope Moon time: The Blackberry Moon, full on August 7, wanes throughout the period, entering its final quarter at 8:15 p.m. on August 14. Rising after sundown and setting after dawn, this moon comes overhead after midnight.
Sun time: By the end of this almanac period, the sun will be 40 percent of the way to autumn equinox.
Planet time: Jupiter remains in Virgo, low on the western skyline at dusk. Star time: Now find the Milky Way in the eastern night sky. Cygnus the swan is there too, its formation a giant cross. Below it is Aquila, spreading from its main stair, Altair, like a great eagle.
Almost directly above you, Vega is the brightest star in the heavens. Delphinus, the dolphin, is due south and, if you stay up until midnight, you should see autumn’s Pleiades coming up over the eastern horizon.
Shooting star time: The Perseid meteors peak August 11-13 an hour or so after midnight below the Milky Way in Perseus.
This shower can produce up to 60 meteors in an hour. If you look too far to the east, you will see Orion emerging out of the trees. If you look too far west, you will see the Great Square.
The August 10 front: Across the region, temperature lows reach into the forties 10-15 times more often than they do during the first week of August.
The weather of the second and third week in August is often uneventful until the cool front of August 17. Even this front, however, is a mild high-pressure system, often bringing heat rather than cold to most of the nation. At higher elevations in the Northwest, on the other hand, this front can bring frost and light snow.
Zeitgebers (events in nature that tell the time of year): The end of fireflies, the occasional long and loud robin valediction song, yellow-jackets in the windfall apples and plums, the appearance of white snakeroot and boneset flowers, the fading of cottonwoods and the occasional falling leaf combine now with all the other endings and beginnings to accelerate the passage of the summer, building momentum with an accumulation of more events.
This is the time that spiders in the woods weave their final webs. The katydids now chant through the night. Cicadas fill the afternoons. Morning fogs are thickening as the night air cools more often into the 50s. The morning robins are silent.
Field and garden time Get ready to seed or reseed spring pastures in September or October. Prepare cold frames, and then seed late-autumn greens and radishes for October, November and December salads.
Late August and all of September offer near ideal conditions for dividing and transplanting perennials. Crocus, aconites, snowdrops, daffodils and tulips can go in the ground as the moon wanes. Other perennials may be fertilized this month to encourage improved flowering next spring and summer. This is also an excellent time to enlarge your day lily and iris collections.
Marketing time: Plan for early-autumn sales. September brings six holidays on which you might market your lambs: Eid Al-Adha (Sept. 1), Labor Day (4), Jewish New Year (20-22), Navaratri (21-29), Al Hijira (Sept. 21-Oct. 19) and Ashura (Sept. 30). And selling time is approaching for mum growers. Pansy time is here for the autumn pansy market.
Mind and body time Strokes may be related to changes in the weather. Older people may be more likely than younger people to experience the physical effects of barometric pressure.
Creature time: The waning moon will be overhead in the early morning this week; start fishing as early as you can, and stay out until you see the moon move to the western half of the sky (after lunch). After the August 10 high-pressure system passes through, the fish may choose not to bite for a day or two. Changes may soon be occurring at bird feeders, since migration of wood ducks, cedar waxwings, catbirds, Baltimore orioles and purple martins is likely to accelerate with each new weather system. At night, the cricket and katydid chorus intensifies.
Money from Heaven
By Jim Devney
I have been mowing lawns with a gas-powered push mower since about 1960 when I was 11 years old.
What occurred on the afternoon of July 16, 2007, is one of the strangest occurrences of my mowing life.
I have a tree-shaded lawn divided by a 40-foot driveway. This is what happened on a warm July afternoon. I pushed the mower down the edge of the drive and back. I repeated the process. This equaled about 80 inches of mowed lawn.
On my next trip down the lawn, there it was in the part of the lawn I had just mowed: A brand new, crisp, unfolded dollar bill. It hadn’t been there a minute ago. At first I thought the wind might have blown it from somewhere nearby. However, I noticed that it was a rare, windless Indiana day.
Next, I wondered if my joke-playing family had played a trick on me. I doubted that. They have a way of disappearing when I mention lawn-mowing. Well, I kept mowing and looking for money, but I found none.
After thinking about this all night, I went out the next day to look at the spot where I had found the money. There, to my surprise, where the bill had been yesterday but slightly damp from the morning dew, was another brand-new, unfolded dollar bill.
My eyes immediately looked toward the sky. Was it money from Heaven? What should I do with my newfound windfall? I took one bill and played the lottery. I didn’t win. I saved the other dollar. Where they came from I still don’t know. I never found another.