Poor Will’s Weekly Almanack Sample

Poor Will’s Almanack

August 31 – September 6 , 2020


Not the sun or the summer alone, but every hour and season yields its tribute of delight; for every hour and change corresponds to and authorizes a different state of the mind.


Ralph Waldo Emerson


The Fourth Week of Late Summer

Astronomical Data And Lore

The Sheep and Goat Breeding Moon is full at 12:23 a.m. on September 2. Rising in the evening and setting in the morning, this moon travels overhead in the middle of the night, encouraging fish and dieters to eat at that time., especially as the the September 2 and 8 cold fronts approach. On September 6, the moon reaches apogee (its position farthest from Earth) at 1:32 a.m. On September 10, the moon enters its fourth quarter at 4:26 a.m.

Beginning in Spetember, the day shortens at the rate of three minutes a day instead of summer’s two minutes.

 The Alpha Aurigid and the Alpha Capricornid meteors pass through during the first ten nights of the month

Venus travels retrograde into Cancer and Leo as fall deepens, continuing to rise a few hours before dawn and shining in the east as the Morning Star. Jupiter and Saturn are the Evening Stars very low in Sagittarius after dark. Mars is in Pisces, coming out of the east after sundown.


Weather Trends

Weather history suggests that the cold waves of Early Fall usually cross the Mississippi River on or about the following dates: September 2, 8, 12, 15, 20, 24 and 29. Tornadoes, hail, floods or prolonged periods of soggy pasture are most likely to occur in connection with tropical storms, near full moon on September 2 and new moon on September 17 (combined with lunar perigee on September) 18 strengthen the cold fronts that arrive near those dates.

The effects of the first September cold wave usually appear by the 2nd, which is the first day since June 4 that 90s become unlikely. Then on the 3rd: a 55 percent chance for highs only in the 70s. The 4th also brings a good chance for chilly weather, and it begins the long period of the year during which there is at least a ten-percent chance for highs below 70 degrees. Warmer conditions typically return on the 5th and 6th, but the second high pressure system of the month, which arrives between the 5th and 11th, brings lows into the 30s one year in 20.

September 6 is the first day of the season on which there is a five or six percent chance of light frost on the gardens of the Ohio Valley. Chances increase at the rate of about one percent per day through the 15th of the month. Between the 15th and the 20th, chances grow at the rate of two percent per day. Between the 20th and 30th, they grow at the rate of five percent per day.


Notes on the Progress of the Year

In the transition from Late Summer to Early Fall, the final tier of wildflowers starts to open. White and violet asters, orange beggarticks, burr marigolds, tall goldenrod, zigzag goldenrod and Japanese knotweed come into bloom, blending with the brightest of the purple ironweed, yellow sundrops, blue chicory, golden touch-me-nots, showy coneflowers and great blue lobelia.

Deep in the woods, the late wildflowers of this year coincide with the first growth of Second Spring, actually the first days of next spring. March’s henbit comes up in the garden. The garlic mustard that will flower two Aprils from now sprouts in the rain. Wood mint puts out new stalks. Watercress revives in the sloughs. Next May’s sweet rockets and next July’s avens send up fresh basal leaves. Scattered violets flower. Sweet Cicely sends out its foliage again. Sedum reappears, lanky from its canopied summer.

On the farm, pickle season is usually over, and peaches can be done for the year. Grapes have come in, and elderberries are deep purple and sweet for picking. Half of the tobacco has usually been cut, half the commercial tomatoes have been picked, about a fourth of the potatoes dug.

Hickory nutting season opens as sweet-corn time winds down. Burrs from tick trefoil stick to your stockings when you wander off the trail. Lizard’s tail drops its leaves into the creeks and sloughs. Beside the deer paths of the forests, the undergrowth is tattered and cluttered with the remnants of the year. The last fireflies are flickering. Red-headed woodpeckers, red-winged blackbirds, house wrens, scarlet tanagers, indigo buntings, eastern bluebirds and black ducks migrate south.


In the Field and Garden

Soybean leaves are turning gold from Georgia to North Dakota, and pods could be set on almost all of the acreage.\

The corn harvest begins in average years as 90 percent of the corn is usually in dough; at least half is dented; ten percent should be mature.

The major months of seasonal change – September, December, March, and June – are excellent times to vaccinate animals. Change can bring weather extremes as well as stress, so you will be taking care of routine health matters at the most important times of the year.

 Hogs on pasture? Consider this rule of thumb: graze five to fifteen 100-pound hogs per acre of good pasture. And grazing can often replace up to half of a gestation diet!

Summer apples are almost all picked. The third cut of alfalfa is half complete in a good year.

Plan early for the color of winter bulbs. Order by catalog or visit nurseries to find out when they will be selling their amaryllis and paperwhite bulbs.

 Begin autumn feeding of perennials and vegetable garden plots.


Lunar feeding patterns

for people and beasts

When the Moon is above the continental United States, creatures are typically most active and hungriest. The second-most-active times occur when the Moon is below the earth.

Date                                       Above                                     Below

September 1:                         Evenings                               Mornings

September 2 – 9:                    Midnight to Dawn                  Afternoons

September 10 – 16:                 Mornings                                Evenings

September 17 – 22:                 Afternoons                             Midnight to Dawn

September 23 – 30:                  Evenings                               Mornings


Almanack Literature

A Joke on Uncle John

by Mrs. Dora DeHart, Middletown, Ohio

Back in earlier times, neighbors could play jokes on each other and still be friends. But modern times have taken all that away from us. This happened many years back, when people dug their own wells for their water supply.

Uncle John was digging his own well, and he ran into solid rock, which could only be moved with dynamite.

Two neighbors were helping Uncle John, and a ladder was placed down inside the hole. Uncle John was to go down and light the fuse and then hurry back up before the explosion went off.

Now these two neighbors were always good at playing jokes, so they took out whatever defuses dynamite and sent John down with everything ready for a big explosion.

When John turned his back to light the fuse, the neighbors pulled the ladder out. When John discovered the ladder was gone, the explosion down in the well wasn’t the dynamite – it was Uncle John screaming and clawing, trying to climb the wall of the well.

When the neighbors thought they had gone far enough, they put the ladder back down. But they didn’t stay around to see John get out, hoping it would take him a while.

When he did get out, they gave him eight twists of Red Ox tobacco if he would lay down the rocks he had gathered to throw at them. They all had a good laugh and remained good friends.


Poor Will is running out of stories! Send yours to him at P.O. Box 431, Yellow Springs, Ohio 45387 or to poorwill@poorwillsalmanack.com. You’ll receive $5.00 payment if your story appears in this column.



Answers To Last Week’s Sckrambler.

In order to estimate your Sckrambler IQ, award yourself 15 points for each word unscrambled, adding a 50-point bonus for getting all of them correct. If you find a typo, add another 15 points to your IQ.

UATNS                                                AUNTS

NACST                                                 CANTS

STNAHC                                              CHANTS

NTSGRA                                              GRANTS

TPSNA                                                 PANTS

NALPST                                              PLANTS

CEANPR                                              PRANCE

SRANT                                                RANTS

SCNTSA                                              SCANTS


This Week’s Rhyming Sckrambler












Copyright 2020 – W. L. Felker


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