By Jack Spaulding
Some cooler temperatures may be coming mid-month
In her suit of green arrayed,
Hear her singing in the shade -
Caty-did, Caty-did, Caty-did! – Philip Freneau
The Second Week of Late Summer
The Moon, the Stars, the Sun and the Shooting Stars
The Soaring Swallow Moon, reached perigee, its position closest to Earth, on Aug. 10, becomes full on the 12th and wanes into its final quarter on Aug. 18 at 2:35 p.m. Rising in the evening and setting in the morning, this moon passes overhead (the most favorable lunar time for angling) in the middle of the night.
By the end of this almanack period, the sun will be 40 percent of the way to autumn equinox.
The Perseid meteor shower occurs until Aug. 24, peaking Aug. 12-13 with up to 60 meteors in an hour. The gibbous moon, nearly full, is likely to make it difficult to find many of these shooting stars. Look for them rising from the east in Perseus (which is shaped a little like a horse).
An hour or two before sunrise, walk out and look to the east. Orion will be rising, in the same position he will be in on Christmas Eve. The Pleiades and Taurus will be almost overhead. Cygnus, the summer swan of August evenings, is setting in the northwest.
Full moon on the 12th likely intensified the effects of the Aug. 10 cool front. Across the region, lows reach into the 40s 10 to 15 times more often than they do during the first week of August. Thunderstorms are likely, as is tropical depression in the Caribbean.
The weather of the second and third week in August is often uneventful until the cool front of the 17th. 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, yellowjackets 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 and 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.
Changes may soon be occurring at bird feeders, since migration of cedar waxwings, catbirds, Baltimore orioles and purple martins is likely to accelerate with each new weather system. At night, the cricket and katydid choruses intensify.
In the Field and Garden
Get ready to seed or re-seed 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, and crocuses, aconites, snowdrops, daffodils and tulips can go in the ground as the moon wanes. Peonies and 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.
Farm Markets in September
Sept. 5, 2022: Labor Day.
Sept. 10, 2022: Harvest Moon Festival: Often observed by Korean Americans and others of Asian descent.
Sept. 25-27, 2022: Rosh Hashanah: Jewish New Year and first High Holiday. Some sub-sects also celebrate the creation of man on this date.
Sept. 26-Oct. 4, 2022: Navaratri /Navadurgara: This Hindu feast honors the goddess Durga. Female animals are typically not used for this celebration.
Mind and Body
The S.A.D. Stress Index (which measures the forces thought to be associated with Seasonal Affective Disorder on a scale from 1 to 100) remains in the troublesome 30s and 40s throughout the week, influenced by the full moon, lunar perigee, the increasing length of the night and Dog Day heat. Almanack Classics
Coon in the Silo!
By “Helen” from Indiana
I am a farmer’s wife, and I do see some things most women never experience. I work for my in-laws on their dairy farm.
At their other farm, the coons are bad. Several of them have climbed the 60-foot silos to get to the corn silage stored inside. Some coons have been killed, caught in the silos unloader. I’ve had to pull them out of the blower.
One day, we had finished filling silos, and I climbed up with a pitchfork in one hand to level it off.
The guys warned me: “Be careful - there might be a coon up there.”
This went through my mind while climbing. I was afraid a coon might hear me and maybe jump out and land on me. And I was working up a pretty good scare by the time I got to the top.
The silage was mounded high in the center. I looked in. No coon. I climbed in with the pitchfork, walked a couple of steps and screamed. I met a coon!
Nowhere to run at 60 feet up! The guys hollered at me after hearing my screams: “Get out, Come down!”
I started to, but then realized the coon would be there next time, so I took my pitchfork and chased the coon to the silo door, yelling at it to “GET OUT OF HERE!”
It got to the door and jumped, falling 60 feet. The guys said it hit the cement, got up and ran to the barn.
I still think of coons when I climb silos at that farm.
Send your memory stories to Poor Will, P.O. Box 431, Yellow Springs, OH 45387. Four dollars will be paid to any author whose story appears in this column.
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Copyright 2022 – W. L. Felker