October is the month when here in the Midwest the weather really starts to change. The days get cooler and the nights are chilly. The leaves take on the bright colors of reds, oranges, yellows, and browns and crunch underfoot when you walk. The smells of autumn are everywhere, from bonfires and toasted marshmallows to leaves burning. You can actually smell the crisp coolness in the air. Heck, even Jack Frost himself makes the occasional appearance to add his artistic touch to the landscape.
There is no shortage of things to celebrate this month, with an unbelievable count of over 470 holidays, celebrations, and observances during the month of October. If you were to try and celebrate them all you would be trying to celebrate about 15 different occasions per day. Kinda makes your head spin, doesn’t it?
Opals are the traditional birthstone of October. Opals are some of the world’s most beautiful stones, and they would not exist without rain, as the raindrops are thought to seep down into cracks in the stone and mix with silica. When the water evaporates, silica is left behind which is compresses and hardens into these fascinating gems. Silica molecules are round and cause refraction of the light that hits them, cause the brilliant colors we see in them. The size of the silica spheres is what causes the varying colors of opal. The smallest spheres are what cause us to see the blue coloration while the larger and rarer spheres cause the reds to be seen. They are a gorgeous stone that seems to be lit from within. Opals are symbolic of hope, purity, and love.
Tourmaline is a beautiful stone that has amazing clarity and comes in almost all colors of the rainbow. It can even occur in a crystal clear form that can rival diamonds in their clarity. One of the most unusual colorations being called Watermelon Tourmaline. Watermelon Tourmaline actually looks like a seedless watermelon, with the coloration going from pink to white to green. While Tourmalines are one of the most sought-after stones in the world it was not until the 1800s that it was found to be a unique stone. Until then it was mistaken as various other precious gems. Tourmaline is known as a peace stone, while the various colors and multi-color stones ass carry their own unique meanings.
October Birth Flowers
Marigolds are fun, easy-to-grow flowers that come in a color range from light yellow to red with bi-colors being common. Their petals can be singles or doubles, and they come in various sizes ranging from 6 inches to a giant that can grow up to 4 feet high. they are a natural mosquito repellant plant and make excellent patio plants. Neither deer nor rabbits seem to like the smell or taste of marigolds and steer clear of areas where they are planted, therefore they make excellent companion plants to those that critters tend to like to snack on. Marigolds also offer protection to certain vegetables such as cabbage and tomatoes by staving off attacks by cabbage worms and nematodes. They are annuals, therefore they do not come back every year but rather die off completely at the end of the season, however, the seeds they drop at the end of their life cycle will grow the next season. You can either collect the seeds or let them self sow so they will volunteer the next year. The marigold has many meanings such as remembrance of those who have passed, desire to be wealthy and/or successful, or just cheer, joy, happiness.
Cosmos are happy flowers that range in color from white to dark pink petals with bright yellow centers. They range in height from 1 to 4 feet tall with wispy, fern-like foliage. Planting cosmos could not be simpler. You just scatter the seeds in the area you want them to grow and they will do the rest. Better yet as they drop their seeds you will have even more the following year. They even prefer poor soil and hot dry conditions. They symbolize peace, harmony, and order.