November is usually a bleak and dreay month with gray skies and cool to cold temperatures. The landscape is mostly gray mixed with the burnt orange and brown remnants of leaves not fully shed. The first snowfall of mid to late November changes the landscape to a winter wonderland of white. Beautiful it may be, but most people soon tire of winter’s beauty as the reality of several weeks of snow and cold sets in.
It is deer hunting season, and anyone hiking in the woods and fields in outlying areas is advised to wear red or bright orange for personal safety. However, other than for a final raking of leaves (if the snow holds off and weather allows it) most people start to spend more time indoors in November.
Hockey season is in full swing, and many folks enjoy a hockey game or two at the Utica Aud. The Utica Comets have certainly sweetened the pot for hockey fans in two short seasons. A second place showing in playoffs for the AHL Calder Cup last season was the first time a Utica team was in the finals. Utica has proven its status as a hockey town. With an already strong fan-base of support for the Comets, Utica is ready for a third exciting season of AHL Hockey. Between the Comets and the Utica College Pioneers there are multiple hockey games nearly every week.
November 1 All Saints Day
November 2 All Souls Day
November 3 Election Day
November 4 Will Rogers Day (Oklahoma)
November 11 Veterans’ Day - Formerly Armistice Day
November 12 Elizabeth Cady Stanton Day
November 14 National Adoption Day
November 19 World Health Organization World Toilet Day
November 19 Discovery Day - Puerto Rico
November 26 Thanksgiving Day
November 29 Acadian Day (Louisiana); Frist Sunday in Advent
There are few holidays in November. While national election days are on weekends or perhaps a holiday in many countries, that is not the case in the United States. However, on Election Day people are encouraged to be civic minded and get out to vote. This year it is primarily on local issues and races for mayor, village boards and city councils, and county legislators. The turn out is usually much less in these off year elections than during years of presidential elections. With all the media attention, one might think we were voting for President this year, but that is still another year off.
Veterans’ Day follows the week after Election Day. This date marks the original Armistice Day that ended World War I on November 11, 1918. It is known as Remembrance Day in Canada. There are generally small observances by veterans’ organizations of the American Legion and Veterans of Foreign Wars, with usually a parade or two in the area. Largely due to colder weather, these parades are quite small compared to those of Memorial Day and the 4th of July.
The major holiday of the month is Thanksgiving on November 26. The arrival of Santa Claus at various malls and village squares on Thanksgiving weekend (and increasingly the week before Thanksgiving) begins the shopping season of Christmas and the “Holidays.” It is yet to be seen if the push for ever earlier sales will lead more malls and national chain box stores to spoil the holiday for their largely low-paid retail sales workers by opening on Thanksgiving evening. This seems to be the trend over the past couple of years.
The shopping frenzy peak is Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving. Depending on one’s perspective, it is the best or worst day of the year to be at the malls and shopping centers. While there are great bargains at various sales, many people prefer to avoid the often unruly crowds.
Sales on Saturday shift to an emphasis on avoiding the malls and supporting local shops, with Small Business Saturday. The triple play of sale days ends with Cyber Monday, when millions search Amazon and other on-line sites for special deals of all kinds.
Thanksgiving and the sales that follow bring November to a close, usually with snow and colder weather. This then leads to the month-long preparations for the lengthy festival of Christmas and the Holiday Season of December.
In the Night Skies
Note: The times are in Eastern Standard Time, an hour earlier than in late October. The change from Daylight to Standard time occurs at 2 A.M. November 1.
November 1, 2015 in Utica New York
Sun 6:36 A.M. 4:52 P.M.
Moon 10:48 P.M. 11:40 P.M.
Venus 2:35 A.M. 3:08 P.M.
Mars 2:38 A.M. 3:13 P.M.
Jupiter 2:07 A.M. 2:57 P.M.
Saturn 8:42 A.M. 6:14 A.M.
November 17-18 Leonid Meteor Shower
Best observed after Midnight to near dawn after the Moon has set.
November 30. 2015 in Utica, New York
Sun 7:12 A.M. 4:27 P.M.
Moone 9:32 P.M. 10:58 A.M.
Venus 3:24 A.M. 2:33 P.M.
Mars 2:13 A.M. 1:57 P.M.
Jupiter 12:34 A.M. 1:13 P.M.
Saturn 7:05 A.M. 4:31 P.M.
Moon Phases for November
Last Quarter November 3
New Moon November 11
First Quarter November 19
Full Beaver Moon November 25
Most star gazing for November this year is best in the pre-dawn hours. Venus, Mars, and Jupiter are close together early in the month in the early morning eastern sky. The crescent Moon joins this triangle on November 6 and 7, with Mars at the top of the triangle, much dimmer than Jupiter or Venus. This crescent Moon may reveal earthshine, when the dark side of the moon is dimly lit by sunlight reflected off Earth. Saturn is visible in the early evening until it passes behind the sun on the 29th.
The Leonid Meteor Shower occurs November 17-18. Up to twenty meteors an hour may be visible, appearing to come from the constellation Leo. These meteors are debris from Comet Tempel-Tuttle, the comet having an approximate thirty three year orbit around the Sun. The shower will be best visible after midnight and into the pre-dawn hours. The Moon is between New Moon and First Quarter, and the shower would be best seen in a dark area away from city lights after midnight, after the Moon sets.
Scorpio 10/23 - 11/22