Golden August field.
An oasis rising up out of a sea of Suburban streets and houses
August brings the best bounty of the season—ripened tomatoes, beans, peas and corn.
THE MONTH OF AUGUST
August was named to honor the first Roman emperor (and grandnephew of Julius Caesar), Augustus Caesar (63 b.c.–a.d. 14). Find out the origin of each month’s name.
Notable Dates in August
“After Lammas Day, corn ripens as much by night as by day.”
- August 1, traditionally known as Lammas Day, was a festival to mark the annual wheat and corn harvest. Lammas also marked the mid-point between the summer solstice and autumn equinox, and was a cross-quarter day. See more about Lammas Day
- August 10 is St. Lawrence’s Day. “Fair weather on St. Lawrence’s Day presages a fair autumn.”
- August 11 marks the end of the Dog Days of Summer, which began on July 3.
- August 17 is when the Cat Nights begin, harking back to a rather obscure Irish legend concerning witches; this bit of folklore also led to the idea that a cat has nine lives.
- August 19 also starts the Islamic New Year, or the First of Muharram, beginning at sundown. Traditionally, it begins at the first sighting of the lunar crescent after the new Moon.
- August 24 is St. Bartholomew Day. “At St. Bartholomew, there comes cold dew.”
Full Sturgeon Moon
August’s full moon, the Full Sturgeon Moon, reaches peak illumination on Monday, August 3. For the best view of the (nearly) full Moon, look skyward on the night of the 2nd! Read more about August’s Full Moon.
Perseid Meteor Shower
August is a wonderful month for star gazing! It’s the month of the Perseid meteor shower, which peaks between August 11 and 13. This year, they peak right around the last quarter Moon, which means that the Moon shouldn’t wash out too many of the “falling stars.”
August’s primary birthstone is peridot, which is said to symbolize strength and healing power, protecting its wearer from nightmares and evil, ensuring harmony and happiness. Babies born in August are lucky to be guarded by peridot’s good fortune.
- Peridot is the rare gem-quality form of the mineral olivine that appears in various shades of green, sometimes with a brown or yellow tinge. Called “evening emerald,” the peridot was often mistaken for that other gem. Peridot is formed deep inside the earth’s mantle and is brought to the surface by volcanoes. In Hawaii, peridot symbolizes the tears of Pele, the volcano goddess of fire who controls the flow of lava.
FOLKLORE FOR THE SEASON
- As August, so February.
- Observe on what day in August the first heavy fog occurs, and expect a hard frost on the same day in October.
- If the first week of August is unusually warm, The winter will be white and long.
- So many August fogs, so many winter mists.
- When it rains
It raises honey
August is prime time for bird moulting, the weather’s at it’s warmest so it is the best opportunity to go through this process. Any later or earlier in the year and they’ll get too cold without their insulating feathers.
Over the year feathers get damaged, discolour and deteriorate. As it takes a concentration of protein and a significant span of time to grow new feathers, most species do this in a single burst – when breeding is finished but the weather remains warm. Many species will appear in distinctive patterns of moulting plumage, while young birds such as Robins will go through a partial moult, from spotty, dappled bodies into their familiar orange and brown. Keep your eyes peeled and you may spot some unusual birding sights. During moulting season you may well see a lot of rough looking birds and notice a distinct lack of bird song.
All birds moult however some manage to pull off the scruffy look better than others! Look out for all of your regular garden visitors, if you look carefully you’ll notice every one of them looks less than pristine in and around the summer months!
Fewer feathers cause heat loss and low energy reserves. Flight is also less easy or more limited. Birds cope with this vulnerability by sheltering for longer during the day. Whilst moulting the best food to give them needs to be high in energy and versatile enough to be used both in feeders and on the ground. You can help them further by scattering feed near to shrubs where birds are sheltering.