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 July 22, 2014

Poor Will's Almanack: July 22 - 28, 2014

Credit palomelca / Flickr Creative Commons

Since I started my record of the weather and natural history, I have kept all my notes daily notes together - for example, all the July 20ths from 1979 through 2014 in one place. With that organization, I've been able to see how, in spite of the separate character of each 12-month cycle, the progress of the seasons remains nearly identical from one year to the next.

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Nature
11:18 am
Tue July 15, 2014

Poor Will's Almanack: July 15 - 21, 2014

Credit Leonora Enking / Flickr Creative Commons

Deep in July, the tide of summer reaches as far north as it can go then starts to slip away back toward the Gulf of Mexico. The rate of advance or retreat varies with each year, but the balance has always shifted by the middle of the year’s seventh month. The day's length becomes one to two minutes shorter every twenty-four hours, and countryside responds with changing color and sound.

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Nature
6:30 am
Tue July 8, 2014

Poor Will's Almanack: July 8 - 14, 2014

Credit Liz West / Flickr Creative Commons

My interest in gardening began with a few lettuce seeds and then progressed to a minor manifestation of voyeuristic back-to-the-landism. And now it has taken on a life of its own.

And of course, nothing is as simple as it seems.

What starts out as a pleasant journey into food or flowers can quickly become complicated by the addition of just a small amount of neurosis and self-doubt.

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Nature
6:30 am
Tue July 1, 2014

Poor Will's Almanack: July 1 - 7, 2014

Credit Bob Muller / Flickr Creative Commons

Look at this beautiful world, and read the truth In her fair page;
wrote the 19th century poet, William Cullen Bryant,
See every season brings
New change to her of everlasting youth—
he writes,
Still the green soil, with joyous living things
Swarms -- the wide air is full of joyous wings.

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Nature
6:15 am
Tue June 24, 2014

Poor Will's Almanack: June 24 - 30, 2014

Credit Nate Swart / Flickr Creative Commons

It seems this time of year that the garden weeds always get out of hand. They follow their own mind, jump the boundaries I've established, and the heat convinces me to let them do it.

And I believe that there are more weeds than there used to be. Since no one ever actually does an annual weed count, I can't prove there are more, but experience leaves no doubt in my mind.

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