milkweed bugs and beetles on milkweed pods in autumn. Photo by Donna L. Long

Nature Almanac for October 2019

milkweed bugs and beetles in autumn

October is the tail end of bird migration. There is still time to go out and watch raptor migration (hawks and owls).

  • 2nd – Watch for Banded Woolly Bear Caterpillar now
  • 5th – First Quarter Moon – waxing to full
  • 11th – Little Brown Bats hibernate now
  • 13th – Full Moon – Hunter’s Moon, Drying Grass Moon (Indian Moon Names)
  • 21st – Last Quarter Moon – waning toward new
  • 25th – Timber rattlesnakes winter in their dens
  • 27th – New Moon

In The Night Sky

  • New Moon always rises near sunrise
  • First Quarter rises near noon
  • Full Moon always rises near sunset
  • Last Quarter rises near midnight
  • Moonrise occurs about 50 minutes later each day.
  • Draconid Meteor Showers, Peak date is October 9th, 6 meteors per hour. Meteors originate in the northwest section of the sky. You can see the meteor best in the late evening.
Female Ruby Throated Hummingbird at Feeder in autumn
Female Ruby-Throated Hummingbird at Feeder in autumn. Hummingbird. It was 52 degrees Fahrenheit outside when this photo was taken. Fort Washington State Park. Photo by Donna L. Long.

Birds

  • Young Barn Owls are establishing their own territories
  • Sparrows and other seed-eating birds begin to migrate
  • Keep hummingbirds feeders full and out until late fall. In the east, you may see a western species such as Rufus Hummingbird
  • First Tree Sparrows usually are seen in early October
  • Hawk migration is still taking place –
  • Kestrels, Merlins, Peregrines migration peaks in early October
  • Broadwing Buteos (Red-tails, Red-shoulder Hawks) dominate in late October through November

Animals

New England Asters (Symphyotricum novae-angliae) clipped to a manageable height in my garden.
New England Asters (Symphyotricum novae-angliae) clipped to a manageable height in my garden.

Plants

      • The last of the native flowers are blooming or shutting down now.
      • Sedums, asters, and goldenrods may be still blooming depending on where you are.

In the Garden

      • During the cool days of October, I focus on the tasks that make you sweat. I work on the structure of the garden such as fences, gates, raised beds, and rain barrels, etc.
      • Don’t prune your plants now. Pruning promotes growth. If you prune now, the tender new growth may freeze in the coming months and damage the plant.

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