Sept. 9-15, 2019
There is physical weather – sun, rain, wind – which just is, and my emotional response – pleasure, peace, anger, anxiety – that I associate with the weather. If I can tease these aspects apart and experience weather as weather and emotional response as emotional response, my days might be less dramatic and draining.
The Autumn Apple Picking Moon waxes full as it reaches apogee, its position farthest from Earth, on Sept. 13 at 11:23 p.m. Rising in the early evening and setting in the morning, this moon passes overhead in the middle of the night.
Lunar position at that time and the approach of the cold front due around Sept. 15 should improve conditions for angling. Throughout the early part of the week, the moon will favor the planting of a late fall garden of lettuce and other greens.
Early fall arrives along the 40th Parallel during the second week of September. Average highs fall below 80, and normal nighttime lows move below 60 until the second week of June. Chances of highs in the 90s hold at less than 10 percent each day this week, the first time that has happened since the end of May.
Highs in the cold 60s occur another 10 percent of the time (with the possibility of 50s for the first time since June 4), with 70s and 80s sharing the remaining 80 percent.
The rainiest days this week are historically Sept. 9 and 12, each having a 40 percent chance of showers. The other days of the period carry about half those odds. Frost is rare at this stage, but chances of a light freeze increase to 10 percent on Sept. 13-14 as the third high pressure system of the month arrives in the wake of the full moon.
The natural calendar
Sept. 9: The Piscid meteors fall through Pisces, in the southern sky tonight. The waxing moon, however, and the low number of shooting stars that fall with this shower may make meteor-watching less than rewarding.
Sept. 10: Cobwebs are common in the woods, and the number of butterflies increases in the garden: coppers, blues, monarchs, painted ladies, skippers, and swallowtails. When the days are cool, the cicadas are quiet. On the colder nights, the katydids refuse to chant, and the frogs are silent.
Sept. 11: The Pleiades, the cluster of stars that forecasts winter's Orion, rise after l0 p.m. just as ragweed season ends across the lower Midwest.
Sept. 12: Today marks the beginning of a decline in percentage of daily sunshine, a downward shift that continues through December, the year's darkest month.
Sept. 13: As September wanes, the Milky Way moves across the center of the sky at bedtime, Cepheus (shaped a little like a house) moves directly overhead and the Big Dipper hugs the northern horizon. Summer's familiar constellation, Sagittarius, has now moved to the far southwest.
Sept. 14: Sandhill cranes start to arrive in wetlands of the Midwest on their way to the Gulf Coast. Doves ordinarily stop calling in the morning until February.
Sept. 15: The high amount of sunlight and continuing mild temperatures generally keep people in good spirits this week of the year. Although the day has lost three hours since the middle of summer, the remaining 12 hours are usually enough to maintain emotional balance, as long as the weather is pleasant.
Field and garden
September’s third week favors vaccinations, surgery, and general livestock care. Changes in the season bring weather extremes as well as stress, so you will be taking care of routine health care at the most important time of the year.
About a third of the soybeans are ordinarily shedding leaves. Mum season peaks in local nurseries.
Schedule fall pasture improvements. Your herd or flock can graze an area close now, then fertilize and seed those fields in early spring with a legume. Or plant in September or October for April and May.
Most weeds and wildflowers have gone to seed in the field and garden. The last summer apples have been picked.
The Welcome Blue Bucket
In the summer of 1940, when I was 4 years old and when both of my parents were sick, I was taken from Cleveland out to Marblehead, Ohio, to stay with my dad’s parents, who had come from Czechoslovakia when they were young, and didn’t speak much English.
The first day, my grandmother showed me my bedroom and other things. I said, “Where’s the bathroom?“ She took me outside, which I thought was strange because the only bathrooms I knew were always in the house.
In the backyard was a chicken coop, Grandpa’s tool shed, and in between was the outhouse sitting on the bank of the limestone quarry that had been dug out many years earlier. I opened the door and saw the Sears catalog and looked in one of the two big holes and saw the droppings – but to the back was the bottom of the quarry about 30 feet down!
Being only 4, I had to use both hands to keep from falling in, but as we were only a quarter of a mile from Lake Erie, I enjoyed the nice breeze that came up through the hole. Later that year, as it got colder, a five-gallon bucket showed up and Grandma kept pointing at it.
Since Grandma didn’t speak much English, I asked the neighbor lady one day, and she said, “That is your toilet for the winter.”
Well, no way was I going to use it. Almost two weeks later, a big snowstorm came, and the next morning as I was putting on my coat to go to the outhouse, Grandma kept pointing to the bucket. No way!
I went out to the outhouse, opened the door, and saw about 3 inches of snow on the seat from the cold wind blowing up through the opening. I got to like that bucket the rest of the winter.
My grandparents spent a lot of time praying, and the Good Lord answered. After about a year, my parents showed up, healthy, and they took me back to Cleveland. Dad lived until he was 75, and Mom until she was 90.
Note: This author did not include a name or address. When the person sends that information to me, a check will be in the mail to them.