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 June 17, 2014

Poor Will's Almanack: June 17 - 23, 2014

Credit Terry Dunn / Flickr Creative Commons

From the middle of May until early July, the days are the longest of the year.

And the abundance and the lushness of these days may have us wonder if life is not actually measured in quantity, measured like the longest days.

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Nature
10:55 am
Tue June 10, 2014

Poor Will's Almanack: June 10 - 16, 2014

Credit Cindy Cornett Seigle / Flickr Creative Commons

Walking the path that follows the cliffs along the river near my home, I often think about the people who lived here thousands of years ago.

They must have found this place an oasis of shelter, water, fish, and game in the middle of the harsh virgin forest. I imagine them making camp along the limestone outcroppings, keeping their fires and defenses close to the stone, bathing and playing in backwaters, picking berries, hunting deer.

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Nature
6:15 am
Tue June 3, 2014

Poor Will's Almanack: June 3 - 9, 2014

Credit David Craig / Flickr Creative Commons

I have recently paid attention to the fact that my solitude is always an accompanied solitude.

Last year, I took part in several group walking meditation sessions in the woods. During these walks, I found that was I flooded with images from the path and the season, and with associated images of people I once knew and events evoked by the trees and plants, and I realized that the group experience only compounded another type of experience, that of being accompanied by other inhabitants of the landscape of my mind.

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Nature
6:15 am
Tue May 27, 2014

Poor Will's Almanack: May 27 - June 2, 2014

Credit Erik Paterson / Flickr Creative Commons

The other morning, I was sitting by the garden pond, when the dogs across the street began to bark. Whatever it was that roused them must have been pretty exciting, because they kept up their yapping for several minutes. That was long enough to incite the bullfrog in the water beside me to bark too, to join their chorus. And so, for maybe twenty or thirty seconds, I sat on my wooden bench and listened to the hounds and the frog sing together.

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Nature
6:15 am
Tue May 20, 2014

Poor Will's Almanack: May 20 - 26, 2014

Credit David Slack / Flickr Creative Commons

An ambiguous space between seasons sometimes allows me to break with my lineal mind. I lose expectations and even the tension of hope. I let go like I do when everything is beyond my control.

The fact that the advance of external spring this year is outside of my power gives me an excuse to imagine that I do not have influence in matters of internal spring. Allowing myself to be caught at the crossroads of interseasonal ambivalence, I give up my autonomy for a neutral sanctuary.

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