Almanac for November 2014

23 October 2014 Written by 
Published in Monthly Almanacs

November is a rather cold and dreary month. Weather systems crossing relatively warm Lake Ontario into colder air lead to frequent cloudy days in the Mohawk Valley. There are occasionally a few warmer days with afternoon high temperatures sometimes reaching 60°, but most of the time temperatures are under 50°F and a jacket is needed and occasionally a winter coat, as mornings are often frosty.

The landscape is predominantly gray and brown, with a dash or two of burnt orange or crimson of sumac or the few leaves that remain. This quickly changes with the first seasonal snowfall. In some recent years, we received only a trace of snow in November. Most years, however, the Mohawk Valley receives its first significant snowfall in November.

This excites the children,  revealing a white winter wonderland. If it does not remain cold enough, the snow melts in a few days, only to return a few days later.

In November, there might be time to finish up their caulking of windows or putting up storm windows. It is also a time to make sure the car (and snow blower) have a winter tune-up. Check on having a snow shovel handy, and get out the winter jackets, hats, gloves, and boots stored in a closet or attic since spring.

It is too early for winter outdoor sports, but for many, deer season is an important annual tradition. A big cheer is given to local sports writer John Patarresi of the Utica Observer-Dispatch for keeping the public up to date on the changing regulations and excitement of deer hunting (and other seasonal hunting, fishing, boating, and camping activities throughout the year).

For sports fans, November is a great month for high school and college football, basketball season begins, and of course, hockey season. The Utica Comets have started a great second season this year, being in first place in the Northern Division of the AHL in mid-October. This is an exciting improvement over the slump that began their first season last year.        

November Holidays

November 1         All Saints Day

November 3                  All Souls Day

November 4                  Will Rogers Day (Oklahoma)

November 4                  Election Day 

November 11       Veterans’ Day - Formerly Armistice Day

November 12       Elizabeth Cady Stanton Day

November 14           National Adoption Day

November 19           World Toilet Day - World  Health Organization (WHO)

November 19       Discovery Day - Puerto Rico

November 27       Thanksgiving Day

November 29       Acadian Day (Louisiana)

November 30       First Sunday in Advent

Election Day

November 4 is a day to make your voice heard by voting on Election Day. This year there is a three way Governor’s race between Democrat Andrew Cuomo, Republican Rob Astorino, and Green Howie Hawkins. There are also races for the House of Representatives and many local officials. It is unfortunate that House Representative Hanna is running unopposed. However, it is still an important responsibility to get out and vote and make your wishes known by excercising this right.

Veterans’ Day

In 1918, nearly a century ago, the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month brought an end to World War I. This was long known as Armistice Day, evolving into our current Veterans’ Day. This date is known as Remembrance Day in Canada and the United Kingdom. In the 1970s, it was changed from the 11th of the month to the second Monday of November. There was such opposition to this move by veterans’ organizations that this was changed back to the actual date in the late 1970s.

Perhaps because of the frequent cold rains and often snowy  weather during November, Veterans’ Day parades are not as well attended as those held on Memorial Day or the Fourth of July. Though sparsely attended most years, many communities do observe this day with a parade, often with a short ceremony held at World War I or other miliatry monuments. There are often special flag disposal ceremonies held during this week. These are usually sponsored by various military related organizations such as the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) or the American Legion.

Thanksgiving Day

The fourth Thursday of the month is the national holiday of Thanksgiving. Most people celebrate with large family dinners. There are also several public dinners in the area at various churches and social agencies for those less fortunate.

Many may have to leave dinner early and forego the late afternoon or evening football games, as some commerical outlets are beginning the Black Friday pre-Christmas sales at 6 P.M. on Thursday night. This is an unfortunate trend which began last year of starting the shopping frenzy of the Holiday Season earlier and earlier. Black Friday will likely again be a huge day for commerical sales at malls and chain stores. Many prefer to focus their shopping at smaller independent stores on Small Business Saturday. And Cyber Monday after Thanksgiving weekend is also a huge day of Christmas shopping.

Once turkey day and the weekend of shopping is over, we will be in December, with the Holiday Season in full swing for the few short weeks before Christmas.      

In the Night Skies

Full Moon                               November 6

Last Quarter                           November 14

New Moon                              November 22

Orionid Meteor Shower            November 17

First Quarter                           November 25

Astrological Signs        

Scorpio 10/23 - 11/22 

Sagittarius 11/23-12/21

The Full Beaver Moon occurs on November 6. The Leonid Meteor Shower on the 16th and 17th are likely to be pretty good for viewing as this corresponds with an early morning crescent moon that is between New Moon and First Quarter.  

Mercury makes one of its best appearances of the year as a morning star for the first ten days of November, seen about 40 minutes before sunrise at 10° above the eastern horizon. Jupiter rises about 11 P.M. by mid November and is seen most of the night. The Last Quarter Moon is in conjunction with Jupiter on the 13th. Mars is low in the sky, setting before 8 P.M. and rather dim. Venus and Saturn are not visible at this time.

Orion, the hunter, one of the most recognizeable winter constellations, rises by 9 P.M. by mid-month, and is fairly high in the southern sky late in the evening.    

Read 462 times Last modified on Sunday, 26 October 2014 01:33
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Roger Chambers

Roger Chambers is a regsitered nurse, working in geriatric nursing for over 30 years. Since 1997 he has tended a large organic garden at his urban home. He has traveled widely in the US and Canada, Europe and Latin America.

He has had several articles in hobby publications on shortwave radio, and several poems in local arts journals and newspapers. An avid fan of birds and the Adirondack Mountains, at present he is largely focused on natural seasonal changes, holidays, and associated local fairs and festivals.

Roger resides in the beautiful Mohawk Valley of Upstate New York.

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The Mohawk Valley Almanac provides a wide variety of information on fairs and festivals, wildlife, and the natural world in this historic region of central New York State. Many annual regional fairs and festivals celebrate the seasons, agriculture, historical and religious holidays, the arts, sports, and ethnic heritage of the diverse population. The natural world of birds and other wildlife, weather, astronomy, and gardening in a climate with cold and snowy winters are also featured.

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