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
8:35 am
Tue October 30, 2012

Poor Will's Almanack: October 30 - November 5, 2012

Credit Flickr Creative Commons user Steve Corey

This is Bill Felker with Poor Will's Almanack for the LAST WEEK of Middle Fall

I wake up to leaves from the redbud tree and the white mulberry tree on the lawn where I just yesterday. Today, I will just look and listen.

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Nature
8:35 am
Tue October 23, 2012

Poor Will's Almanack: October 23 - 29, 2012

Flickr Creative Commons user jurvetson

Poor Will's Almanack for the third week of Middle Fall.

It wasn’t that long ago that all the workings of the world were great mysteries. Since people didn’t know what kinds of forces made the weather, they gave equal weight to a regular rain shower and a shower of frogs (yes, there have been showers of frogs). Stories about amazing weather phenomena were popular not only because they were different, but because people couldn’t figure out at all why they were occurring. Some people… a lot of people… thought the unusual events were signs from heaven.

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Nature
8:35 am
Tue October 16, 2012

Poor Will's Almanack: October 16 - 22, 2012

Fall in Clifton Gorge
Flickr Creative Commons user Angelskiss31

This is Bill Felker with Poor Will's Almanack for the second week of Middle Fall.

The season is sending messages. Migrating flocks of birds, sometimes large enough to stretch across the sky, remind the commuter and trucker that ice and snow lie ahead. The urgent call of the geese, common at this time of year, evokes an autumnal restlessness. As the days shorten, sheep and goat owners pay attention to the signs that their does and ewes are cycling. And even human conceptions are said to increase as the weather cools.

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Nature
8:35 am
Tue October 9, 2012

Poor Will's Almanack: October 9-15, 2012

Flickr Creative Commons user Drift Words

This is Bill Felker with Poor Will's Almanack for the first week of Middle Fall.

Not so long ago, I ran a story contest in my farm almanacs, and I received many unusual anecdotes - a description of poisoned chickens coming back to life, and a wild outhouse saga - among others.

The very last story I received was postmarked in Saskatchewan, and it was called "Perfecting My Porridge." The writer gave no return address, no name other than J.W.

Here's what J.W. said:

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Nature
8:40 am
Tue October 2, 2012

Poor Will's Almanack: October 2 - 8, 2012

Flickr Creative Commons user wallyg

Poor Will's Almanack for the fourth week of Early Fall

Since I started my record of the weather and natural history, I have my kept notes together for each day of the year -for example, all the October 2nds from 1979 through 2012 in one place. With that organization, I've been able to see how, in spite of the separate character of each 12-month cycle, and the possible changes in the climate, the progress of the seasons remains nearly identical from one year to the next.

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