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
8:45 am
Tue July 24, 2012

Poor Will's Almanack: July 24 - 30, 2012

Pink Germander
Flickr Creative Commons user wackybadger

Poor Will’s Almanack for the fifth week of middle summer.

Something must be lost or absent in any narrative for it to unfold," notes literary commentator Terry Eagleton. "If everything stayed in place there would be no story to tell."

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Nature
8:45 am
Tue July 17, 2012

Poor Will's Almanack: July 17 - 23, 2012

Orion
Flickr Creative Commons user Eduardo Marino

This is Bill Felker with Poor Will’s Almanack for the fourth week of middle summer.

Followed by Sirius, the Dog Star, the constellation Orion accompanies the Dog Days of Middle Summer as he moves invisibly into the center of the southern sky at noon. A simple star chart reveals all this, but the land itself gives plain cues about the heavens.

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Environment
8:45 am
Tue July 10, 2012

Poor Will's Almanack: July 10 - 17, 2012

Goldenrod
Flickr Creative Commons user KennethMoyle

Poor Will’s Almanack for the third week of middle summer.

When the cicadas (or harvest flies) of the year sing at noon, then lanky ichneumons get into your house and sit on the walls like behemouth mosquitoes. Corn tassels and corn pollen are more plentiful when cicadas sing. Buckeyes and hickory nuts fall in thunderstorms. Goldenrod is four feet tall. Lupine pods break apart and spread their seeds.

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Nature
8:45 am
Tue July 3, 2012

Poor Will's Almanack: July 3 - 9, 2012

Flickr Creative Commons user Forest Mind

Poor Will’s Almanack for the Second Week of Middle Summer.

When corn is tasseling, and tomatoes are ripe and zucchini are spreading like lemmings, then all the middle-summer flowers are in bloom. Purple loosestrife, lizard’s tail, Queen Anne’s lace, purple coneflower, wild petunia, bouncing bet, dayflower, sow thistle, white vervain, dogbane, black-eyed Susan, leatherflower, figwort, lesser stitchwort, germander, pokeweed, St. John’s wort, teasel, wild lettuce, wood mint, wood nettle, leafcup, touch-me-not, lopseed and avens are all blossoming in the woods and fields.

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Nature
8:45 am
Tue June 26, 2012

Poor Will's Almanack: June 26 - July 2, 2012

Flickr Creative Commons user Pahz

Poor Will’s Almanack for the first week of Middle Summer.

When sycamore trees begin to shed their bark, then bright orange butterfly weed opens, acorns become fully formed, and thistle flowers change to down. Hemlock season is complete along the roadsides, stalks collapsing into the tall grasses. Parsnip heads brown in the sun.

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