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
10:24 am
Tue May 15, 2012

Poor Will's Almanack: May 15 - 21, 2012

Flickr Creative Commons user Wentzy

Poor Will’s Almanack for the fourth week of Late Spring.

In the middle of this past January, I set twenty-five geranium seeds in a flat of moist potting soil and placed them under a growlight in the attic. Eighteen sprouts appeared in ten days and grew steadily throughout the coldest time of the year.

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Environment
8:45 am
Tue May 8, 2012

Poor Will's Almanack: May 8 - 14, 2012

Flickr Creative Commons user macieklew

Poor Will’s Almanack for the third week of Late Spring.

In his journal, the poet Thomas Merton refers to the virgin point of the morning, a time just before dawn, when all beauty of the day is still waiting to become.

By this time in May it seems that the virgin point of the year is long past. It seems that point must have occurred in earliest spring, just before aconite and snow crocus bloomed, in the days before the cardinals and the doves and the robins sang before sunrise, the days before the trillium, the days before the first butterfly.

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Environment
8:45 am
Tue May 1, 2012

Poor Will's Almanack: May 1- 7, 2012

Flickr Creative Commons user ~Sage~

Poor Will’s Almanack for the second week of Late Spring

At winter solstice, the sun rose at the far southern corner of the Danielson's house across the street from my window. At equinox, the sun came up over Lil's house.

And at summer solstice, it will rise in the northwest between Jerry's house and Lil's. The original owners of these three places have moved or died, but still I use the houses to measure course of the sun and the progress of the year. But they do that only from my window. Disconnected from that view, they lose their astronomical significance.

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Environment
8:45 am
Tue April 24, 2012

Poor Will's Almanck: April 24 - 30, 2012

Flickr Creative Commons user Kari Kligore

Poor Will’s Almanack for the first week of Late Spring.

Some people I know have been a little uneasy with the beautiful spring weather this year.

At first, the sun and heat were were great blessings. For a while, everyone was excited by the abrupt end of winter - by the lack, in fact, of any appreciable winter at all. For a while, I went around saying, "I love global warming!"

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Environment
8:45 am
Tue April 17, 2012

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

Flickr Creative Commons user Beedle Um Bum
Honeysuckle

Poor Will’s Almanack for the fourth week of Middle Spring, the week of Cross-Quarter Day, April 21st.

Surely, there is a great Word being put together here, writes Wendell Berry, "I begin to hear it gather in the opening of the flowers and the leafing-out of the trees.... in my thoughts, moving in the hill's flesh.

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