October 2022 Nature Almanac

Harlequin Bug eggs in my garden
Harlequin Bug eggs in my garden.

September 23, 2022 – Here in Philadelphia…

Once the Earth tilts, the temperatures noticeably cool. It stayed warm for a long time. The daytime temperatures stayed into the eighties up until the day of the autumnal equinox. As the Earth tilted, I notice the winds picked up again. When it was hot there was little if any wind. No cooling breezes. Now the breezes blow and the leaves rustle on the trees.

During the dog days of July-August, garden struggled. When it’s too hot, several of the fruiting crops, will drops their blossoms. Which means their won’t be any blossoms to be pollinated and grow into fruit. The beans and tomatoes dropped their blossoms. As the heat has eased the lima beans and tomatoes have developed new blossoms, and I am now getting  lima beans and tomatoes.

Because of the dry conditions, the animals were looking for water, I kept my bird/squirrel waterer full. But the squirrels ate many of my cherry tomatoes, just the juicy insides. They have also discovered they like Asian eggplants. Last year I had so many eggplants, I gave a grocery bag of eggplants to friends. This year I got three. The squirrels like to harvest the eggplants when the fruit is small enough for they to carry away. There are two eggplants still on the plants, I doubt if I will get them.

I read several news stories and watched several videos in which gardeners and farmers were warning about the bad harvests and higher prices. The very hot, dry conditions affected gardeners and farmers in North America and other regions of the world. Having a backyard kitchen garden this year or next seems like a good idea.

Past post:  An Autumn Walk in the Woods

close up of maple leaf
A close up of autumn maple leaf (back lighting). Photo by Donna L. Long.

My Next Guide Drops in the Next Few Days

I’m putting the finishing touches on my next guide, Autumn in the Natural World: How plants, animals, and the land prepare for winter’s cold. In the guide I present the miraculous ways ponds, insects, turtles, etc. change their bodies to survive winter’s cold and freezing conditions.

The guide will be available in immediately downloadable pdf and print paperback. The pdf will be available in the next few days. The print paperback in another two weeks as I have to check the proofs from the printer.

This guide was inspired by reader’s questions and my own enduring curiosity about the natural world. I hope the information excites and delights you as much as it did me when I researched it. Watch out for the announcement coming soon.


Did You Know? : Phenology in Action: Baidaj Harvesting Altered by Climate Change

O’odham people of the desert southwest use natural occurrences and events (phenology) to time their harvest of baidaj, the saguaro fruit. But the harvesters see differences from the timing of the past. Listen to their story.

Original article: “Time honored harvesting altered by climate change.” on ICT.com (Indian Country Today)


Upbeat News

Protecting Sacred Places” on Tribal College Journal (TCJ.org) explains and defines four types of sacred places and what makes them so.

The Biggest Challenges of Buying Secondhand and How to Overcome Them” on HappyEcoNews.com – I’ve been buying almost all second hand clothes for about five years. Going to buy “new” clothes no longer interest me. I do want to restart sewing my clothes.

California’s dead will have a new burial option: Human composting” on latimes.com – I rather turn into to compost than to liquify in a sealed coffin. The thought of liquifying always creeped me out.

Small plot, big veg: city gardeners are growing food at home” on the Narwal.org – In a small Philly backyard, I grow amazing amounts of food.


Autumn leaves of Virginia Creeper (Parthenocissus quinquefolia) vine.
Autumn leaves of Virginia Creeper (Parthenocissus quinquefolia) vine.

Native Plant of the Month for October 2022

Virginia Creeper, an indigenous vine which turns lovely shades or red and orange in the autumn.

See Virginia Creeper for more info.

Horsefly on BIndweed. Credit: Kenneth Allen, CC BY-SA 2.0.

Invasive Species of the Month: Bindweeds

Field Bindweed (Convolvulus arvensis) is blooming. Which means flowers that turn into seeds, which are eaten by birds, which sit on your fence, and poop out weeds seeds, which grow in your yard. If you see Bindweed or similar unwanted plants blooming, take off the blossoms before they seed heads form.

About Field Bindweed (nps.com)

Bindweeds are a family of plants which grow along the ground until they reach a vertical structure (fence, plant) and then the plant grows up the structure and smoothers it. The flowers look like Morning Glories and are classified in the Morning Glory family.

My neighbor’s neglected yard (they know it’s neglected, no need to beat around the bush), has a Roman legion of bindweeds covering plants and fences. The vines climb over our shared fence. I remove the beautiful creamy white flowers and yank the vines from the ground and put them in the trash. I could compost the vines, but I am not feeling generous when the vines invade my garden.

Have Field Bindweed and what to get rid of it? Check this article on the University of Nevada website,  Field Bindweed: An Attractive Nuisance and Worse.

False Hedge Bindweed (Calystegia sepium (L.) in an indigenous plant of North America. (Wildflower.org)

Sunflowers (Helianthus spp.) facing west in my garden in the early autumn afternoon sun. Photo by Donna L. Long.
Sunflowers (Helianthus spp.) facing west in my garden in the early autumn afternoon sun. Photo by Donna L. Long.

The October 2022 Nature Almanac

What to Observe, Draw, and Photograph Right Now

Virginia Creeper – Try to capture the autumn colors of the plant in colored pencils or watercolors. How does the plant climb? Does it wind in a clockwise or counter-clockwise manner? Sketch the flowers, buds, and seeds. Do you see animals eating the leaves or seeds?

Bindweed – Draw the plant, its stem, and blossoms. How does it get support? How does it climb on other plants? Does it wind in a clockwise or counter-clockwise manner? Sketch the leaves, flower, buds, and seeds.

Spiders – Record the dates when you see spiders active. When do they disappear? Are your gardens and backyards full of spiders. Spiders are predators who eat pests like flies, gnats, and mosquitoes. What types of webs do you find? How many webs?

Why Do Leaves Change Color? with a Video

Why Trees Shed Leaves in the Fall with a Video


October 2022 Season Dates

Autumnal Equinox, September 22, 2022 9:04 p.m. EDT in the Northern Hemisphere.

Autumn last 90 days from the Autumnal Equinox until the Winter Solstice on December 21, 2022, 4:48 p.m. EST.

Season: “Taquitock – harvest and fall of leaf” (Chesapeake Bay Algonquin)

In the Sky This Month

  • Sept. 3rd – First Quarter Harvest Moon
  • Sept. 10thFull Harvest Moon (Harvest Home celebrations around this time)
  • Sept. 17th – Last Quarter Harvest Moon
  • Sept. 25th – New Moon – Hunter’s Moon
  • Oct. 2nd – First Quarter Hunter’s Moon
  • Oct. 9th – Full Hunter’s Moon
  • Oct. 17th – Last Quarter Hunter’s Moon
  • Oct. 25th – New Moon – Beaver Moon

Venus is ending its’ run as the morning star. During the heat of August, I woke early before the Sun rose and to see Venus shining bright and clear.

The Moon

  • New moon always rises near sunrise, sets at sunset
  • First Quarter near noon, Rises at noon, sets at midnight
  • Full Moon always rises near sunset, sets at sunrise
  • Winter Full Moons are high in the sky
  • Last Quarter rises near midnight, sets at noon
  • Moonrise occurs about 50 minutes later each day

Algonquin Moon Names

Citizen Science Events to Participate In

See SciStarter.org

That’s it for this issue. Look for the next issue at the end of September.

My Latest Guide

butterfly life cover color with border


Butterfly LIfe: How Butterflies are Born, Live, and Support the Earth’s Ecosystems – Now on Sale 







Next Month

November 2022 Nature Almanac

Previous Nature Almanac

Nature Almanac for September 2021

August 2022 Nature Almanac

August 2021 Nature Almanac and Yellow Aster Disease


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