Bill Felker

Host - Poor Will's Almanack

Bill Felker has been writing nature columns and almanacs for regional and national publications since 1984. His Poor Will’s Almanack has appeared as an annual publication since 2003. His organization of weather patterns and phenology (what happens when in nature) offers a unique structure for understanding the repeating rhythms of the year.

Exploring everything from animal husbandry to phenology, Felker has become well known to farmers as well as urban readers throughout the country.  He is an occasional speaker on the environment at nature centers, churches and universities, and he has presented papers related to almanacking at academic conferences, as well. Felker has received three awards for his almanac writing from the Ohio Newspaper Association. "Better writing cannot be found in America's biggest papers," stated the judge on the occasion of Felker’s award in 2000.

Currently, Bill Felker lives with his wife in Yellow Springs, Ohio. He has two daughters, Jeni, who is a psychologist in Portland, Oregon, and Neysa, a photographer in Spoleto, Italy.

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Nature
6:30 am
Tue October 21, 2014

Poor Will's Almanack: October 21 - 27, 2014

Credit Mike Deal / Flickr Creative Commons

Tonight, when Earth crosses the vast remains of Halley’s Comet, it reveals that debris as the Orionid meteors, shooting past the post-midnight sword and shield of the constellation Orion in the southeast.

Then on Thursday, October 23rd, the dark Toad and Frog Migration Moon replaces the Hickory Nutting Moon, calling the last of the toads and frogs to find their winter habitats, often the same location in which they emerged as tadpoles.

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Nature
6:30 am
Tue October 14, 2014

Poor Will's Almanack: October 14 - 20, 2014

Credit Peppysis / Flickr Creative Commons

The sun seems to move lower and lower these days, rising further in the southeast, setting further in the southwest, about to abandon its residence in the boxy constellation of Libra.

Now the Summer Triangle with its brightest stars, Deneb, Lyra and Altair, has moved deep into the west after dark, following the lead of Mars in Scorpius. From the eastern horizon, the Pleiades, the seven sisters of the winter, are rising, leading on the red eye of Taurus and Orion’s vast shield.

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Nature
6:30 am
Tue October 7, 2014

Poor Will's Almanack: October 7 - 13, 2014

Credit Christoph Kummer / Flickr Creative Commons

These days, I’m a little more confused than usual. Instead of feeling invigorated by this October, I'm feeling lethargic.

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Nature
6:30 am
Tue September 30, 2014

Poor Will's Almanack: September 30 - October 6, 2014

Credit pontia / Flickr Creative Commons

When the milkweed pods come open, then frost season is on the way, and Canadian geese, great-crested flycatchers, blue-gray gnatcatchers, ruby-throated hummingbirds, eastern wood peewees and bank swallows move down their flyways toward the Gulf of Mexico. Buzzards gather at their roosts. Crows are the only birds to call before dawn. Monarch butterflies become more numerous, still visit the late phlox and the zinnias in the afternoon sun; other insects, however, become less common in the field and garden as the number of pollen-bearing flowers dwindles.

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Nature
6:30 am
Tue September 23, 2014

Poor Will's Almanack: September 23 - 29, 2014

Credit Carmen Eisbär / Flickr Creative Commons

In the final weeks of September, a rapid deterioration of all the wildflowers except the goldenrod and asters occurs. And after these last flowers go to seed in early October, there is no new generation of blooming plants to replace them. Except for the few varieties that open during second spring (the warm days in late fall), the final species that grow to maturity within in most of the United States and Canada are in the process of bearing fruit.

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