Welcome October and Autumn! | Almanac.com

Welcome October and Autumn!

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October is here! The time for pumpkins, Halloween, cozy sweaters, and delicious warm recipes! The new 2014 Calendar Collection (Recipe, Weather Watcher’s, Country, Engagement, and Gardening Calendars) provides some fun facts, folklore, and wisdom for one of our favorite months!


With fall comes some unfavorable weather, including wind storms!

Weather Watcher’s 2014 Calendar

  • October 12: On this day in 1962, the “Big Blow” in Oregon and Washington brought winds of over 100 miles per hour.
  • What is a haboob? A haboob is a massive dust storm that results from a thunderstorm’s downdraft. The resulting strong surface winds stir up sand and dirt, creating a dust wall that may be more than 600 miles wide and a mile or so high. Common in arid regions, a haboob may last between 1 and 3 hours and contain wind gusts of up to 75 miles per hour.

There is plenty of farming and gardening to do in October. Here are some of the best days. Keep your eye out for owls!

2014 Country Calendar

Best Days in October

  • For harvesting—Aboveground crops: 1, 2, 29; Belowground crops: 19, 20
  • For setting eggs—3, 4, 11–13
  • For fishing—1–8, 23–31

Did you know? Northern saw-whet owls have asymmetrical ears: The right ear is higher than the left, and each ear opening is a different shape. This helps the owls to pinpoint the direction from which a sound comes.

Halloween is coming! Time to dress up your scarecrow with an extra-spooky outfit!

2014 Gardening Calendar

  • Scarecrow garb ranges from the traditional shirt and overalls to the outlandish party dress, trench coat, spacesuit, or whatever you fancy. Slippers, high heels, swim fins, ski boots, or other foot coverings will protect the harvest figure’s straw “toes.” Finish the ensemble with a hat, umbrella, necklace, purse, apron, gloves, goggles, or other fun accessories. You might arrange your figure as if it were performing an action, such as selling lemonade, flying to the Moon, or welcoming visitors (except crows!).
  • Halloween (October 31)—Many species of the Dracula orchid have flowers that hang upside down, like a bat. They prefer cold, dark places, and some have spurs that resemble vampire fangs.

Do you have any tricks for keeping away pesky evil dwellers on Halloween? Or do you just bribe them with candy?

2014 Engagement Calendar

  • According to Greek tradition, a cactus placed by the front door will guard a home against evil.
  • Put your Halloween pumpkins out in the woods or fields for wildlife to snack on.

Cold weather means that it’s time to snuggle up with some warm baked goods!

2014 Recipe Calendar

The Old Farmer’s Almanac Favorite Oatmeal Bread (from The Old Farmer's Almanac Everyday Cookbook)

  • 2 packages (2¼ teaspoons each) active dry yeast
  • 3 cups quick-cooking rolled oats
  • 4 cups boiling water
  • 7½ to 8 cups bread flour, divided
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • ¼ cup vegetable oil
  • ½ cup molasses

Grease three 9x5-inch loaf pans. Dissolve or proof the yeast in ¼ cup of lukewarm (105 to 115 degrees F) water in a small bowl. Place the oats in a large bowl and pour the boiling water over them. Cool to lukewarm. Stir in 2 cups of flour and the yeast mixture. Cover, put in a warm place, and allow to rise until doubled in bulk. Punch down and add the salt, oil, molasses, and enough remaining flour to make a firm dough. Knead until the dough is smooth and pliable. Divide and shape into three loaves, then place each in a loaf pan. Cover and allow to rise until nearly doubled. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Bake for 40 minutes, or until the bread is well browned and sounds hollow when tapped. Cool on racks before slicing. Makes 3 loaves.


If foxes bark much
in October, they are calling up
a great fall of snow.