Urban Almanac

Urban Almanac: November 2017

By Diane Olson

A monthly compendium of random wisdom for the natural world and beyond.
by Diane Olson, Anna Zumwalt and Greta deJong.

NOV 1 All Saints’ Day. Sun rises at 7:59am and sets at 6:22pm. Av. high: 57 degrees; low: 38 degrees

NOV 2 Challenge yourself to write a 50,000-word novel by Nov. 30.  NaNoWriMo.org

NOV 3 Full moon. November’s full Moon was called the Beaver Moon by both the colonists and the Algonquin tribes because this was the time to set beaver traps before the swamps froze, to ensure a supply of warm winter furs.

NOV 4 Clear your rain gutters now.

NOV 5 Daylight Saving Time Ends at 2am. Turn your clocks back one hour.

NOV 6 Trees, with their extensive root systems, draw up nutrients from deep within the subsoil. Where do those nutrients go? Into their leaves. Autumn leaves are an excellent source of nitrogen phosphorus and potassium, making them the perfect mulch.

NOV 7 Election Day. It’s a big one for Utah’s Third Congressional District. Who will you choose to replace Jason Chaffetz?

NOV 8 Bring in your garden hoses; drain outdoor faucets.

NOV 9 You can plant spring bulbs, rosebushes, deciduous trees and shrubs until the ground freezes hard.

NOV 10 Indian summer, a period of warmth following a cold spell, often falls between now and November 20.

NOV 11 It’s time to harvest parsnips and brussels sprouts.And you can still harvest beets, carrots, celery, kale, leek, lettuce, radish, spinach and Swiss chard (or buy them at the Downtown Winter Market, which starts today).

NOV 12 In fall and winter, house plants need less water, but more humidity. Also hold the fertilizer until the spring equinox.

NOV 13   The edge of chaos is the optimal life zone for involving complex systems, such as ant and termite colonies, beehives, brains, economics, and human society (says organizational scientist and Utahn Margaret Wheatley.

NOV 14 Got icemelt on hand? Buy it now so you will be prepared. Look for organic salt-free deicer or alfalfa meal.

NOV 15 Perennial herbs, such as rosemary and sage, can be harvested year-round.

NOV 16 People born around mid-November were conceived around Valentine’s Day.

NOV 17 Just after midnight (really the 18th), view the Leonids

meteor shower. This should be a good one, with the New Moon (dark) tomorrow.

NOV 18 Noon Moon. What shall you begin today?

NOV 19 Cats can’t see directly under their noses, which explains why they can’t find treats.

NOV 20 Having guests over for Thanksgiving? Make sure your plumbing is in order. The day after Thanksgiving is the single busiest day of the year for plumbers.

NOV 21 When cut, onions release sulfuric compounds that, combined with air, activate to a compound called thiopropanol solfoxide. To reduce tears, burn a candle nearby to oxidize the chemical.

NOV 22 Astrologically, today begins the time of Sagittarius (through Dec. 21). The symbol is a centaur with bow and arrows, familiar from Greek and Roman mythology.

NOV 23 Wild turkeys are badass. They sleep in trees, can fly 55 mph in short bursts, have periscopic vision, gobble loud enough to be heard over a mile away and turn crazy colors when aroused. A group of turkeys is called a gang, posse, raffle, crop or dole. .

NOV 24   Black Friday used to be the biggest shopping day of the year. Now it’s #3 (following Dec. 23 and Dec. 17)

NOV 25 Small Business Saturday. for every dollar spent in a Utah-owned business, four times more of that dollar stays in our economy than would be the case with a national retailer.

NOV 26   The average person gains 1 to 2 pounds between Thanksgiving and New Year’s day.

NOV 27 According to the 17th-century astrologer Richard Saunders: “In this Moneth [November], Melancholy much increaseth.” He recommended eating eggs and honey and vomiting sometimes

NOV 28   A dog’s sense of smell is 100,000 times better than ours, able to pick up chemical solutions that form one or 2 ppm.

NOV 29 If you cook bacon, save the fat for the birds.  They welcome the calories in the cold! Refrigerate fat in a tuna or cat food can till solid. Punch a hole in the side wall with a nail, and tie the nail head to a tree (where the cat can’t reach).

NOV 30 Av. high: 44 degrees; low: 29 degrees.

Diane Olson is the author of Nature Lover’s Almanac, a content strategist at MRM/McCann and longtime CATALYST writer.

This article was originally published on October 30, 2017.