Mohawk Valley Almanac October 2021 Edition
By Roger Chambers
Holidays and Observances of October
September 15- October 15
Hispanic Heritage Month
October 5 Child Health Day
October 6 German American Day
October 9 Leif Erikson Day
October 11 Columbus Day (observed); Indigenous Peoples Day (in parts of U.S.); General Casimir Pulaski Memorial Day; Thanksgiving Day in Canada October 15 White Cane Safety Day; Poetry Day
October 18 Alaska Day
October 21 Canonization of St. Kateri and St. Marianne Kopp in 2012
October 24 United Nations Day
October 30 Nevada Day
October 31 Halloween
The Covid pandemic is still having a large impact on daily life. Te death of nearly 700,000 across the United States has surpassed the deaths of the infamous 1918 Spanish Flu pandemic. This has resulted in about 1500-2000 a day over many days in late August and September. Reluctance to get vaccines by many and strong controversy over mandating masks for inside activities remains extremely controversial. These controversies have resulted in a much higher death rate than would have been if public health measures, particularly use of masks and vaccine rates had been higher.
In some areas, this has led to heated protests before school board meetings, at universities, and work places, which have occasionally turned violent. Masks are still mandated on most if not all forms of public transportation of buses, trains, and planes. Having recently taken a long distance trip by both bus and train, this is pretty strictly enforced, both on vehicles and in terminals, except during brief periods of actually eating or drinking.
Over recent weeks, mask mandates has led to a great increase of violent reactions especially on airplanes. This resulted in a few cases of planes being re-routed, with the individuals involved being charged with serious crimes, large fines, possible jail time and being banned by the airlines. Some airlines banned serving alcohol temporarily.
This could have an impact on education, with controversy over mask and vaccination mandates. While there may be some restrictions, including possible hybrid / on line education locally or regionally, this is a much greater issue in the South, the intermountain West and some states in the Midwest. Particularly hard hit have been Florida, Texas, Mississippi and Alabama.
The impact on sporting events, indoor concerts, theater productions and bars is a bit less clear, and confusing. Some events require masks and/or limited capacity at stadiums, while others do not. It remains a possibility that some games or events may be postponed or cancelled. One large local change is the celebration of the Boilermaker with the 15 km road race being held on October 10 instead of the second weekend in July. As of this writing, the race is still planned, with no prize money and no internationally known runners.
Despite the pandemic, the seasons continue to change. The beautiful colors of a northeastern fall with reds, oranges, yellows and browns of changing leaves is a favorite time of year for many. In the mid-Mohawk Valley, these changes are at their peak in mid to late October, about two to three weeks earlier in the Adirondacks and a bit later in the Susquehanna Valley and Catskills to the south.
It remains to be seen how much of an impact the Covid pandemic will have on traditional celebrations of Columbus Day and Halloween, or events related to Hispanic Heritage Month or Indigenous Peoples Day. In any event, get out and enjoy some of the fine sunny weather with bright colors before the weather turns colder in late October and November.
In the Night Skies
On October 8-10 is the Draconoid Meteor Shower with 6 meteors per hour from remnants of Glacobinni-Zinner Comet. The Orionid Meteor Shower is on October 20-21 should have about 15 meteors per hour. Visibility of meteors from these remnants of Halley’s Comet will be limited due to the Full Moon.
Mars is not visible this month. There is a conjunction of the crescent Moon with Venus in the west on October 9th. The waxing Gibbous Moon has a conjunction with a brilliant Jupiter and less bright Saturn on October 13th, and forming a triangular conjunction with those two planets on the 14th.
Astronomical Calendar for October
October 6 New Moon, rises 7:02 A.M. in the east, sets 7:00 P.M. in the west
October 8-10 Draconoid Meteor Shower,
October 9 Conjunction, Venus just below crescent Moon, to the west, evening twilight
October 12 Full Quarter Moon, rises 2:40 P.M. in southeast, sets 11:14 p.m. in southwest
October 13 Conjunction with Moon to right of Jupiter and Saturn
October 14 Conjunction triangle of Moon, Jupiter and Saturn
October 15-17 Venus near Antares, bright orange star of Scorpius
October 20 Full Hunter’s Moon, rises 6:21 P.M. in the east, sets 7:10 A.M. in the west
October 20-21 Orionid Meteor Shower
October 28 Last Quarter Moon, rises 11:53 P.M. in southeast, sets 2:42 P.M. in southwest
October 21 Rise / Set of Sun, Moon and Visible Planets Moonrise Waning Gibbous 6:50 P.M. East Moonset 8:13 P.M. west
Mercury Rises 5:51 A.M. East
Venus Sets 8:09 P.M., southwest
Jupiter Sets 1:46 A. M. West
Saturn Sets 12:27 A.M. Southwest