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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Environment
8:35 am
Tue March 6, 2012

Poor Will's Almanack: March 6 - 12, 2012

Daffodil blossom
Flickr Creative Commons user bbodien

Poor Will’s Almanack for the Fourth Week of Early Spring.

Daffodil blossoms are the outriders of the fourth week of Early Spring, a sign that Virginia bluebells have come up from winter ground and that raspberry bushes are developing fresh leaves. As you drive the freeways or the backroads, you may see wild onions are getting lanky, a sign that the foliage of Middle Spring's wildflowers is growing back in the woods and fields: Jacob's ladder, ragwort, leafcup, spring beauties, wood mint, ground ivy, catchweed, moneywort, waterleaf, hemlock, and parsnip.

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Nature
8:45 am
Tue February 28, 2012

Poor Will's Almanack: February 28 - March 5, 2012

Red Hyacinth bulb
Flickr Creative Commons user Old Shoe Woman

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

 

This week opens the season of early bulbs even in the coldest years. The very earliest bulbs, of course, the snowdrops the snow crocus and the aconites, have already bloomed in the sunniest microclimates. Now it is time for the larger, brighter standard crocus and the small spring iris, the iris reticulata to flower.

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Nature
8:35 am
Tue February 21, 2012

Poor Will's Almanack: February 21 - 27, 2012

Flickr Creative Commons user waferboard

Poor Will's Almanack for the second week of Early Spring

The other day, someone asked me, "What is the point of keeping track of things like flowers and birds?"

And I answered that - without my notes - I would literally feel lost in space.

I tried to explain that for me place and time do not exist outside of personal observations and feelings. I wake up in my familiar bed, see the same trees, the same roads, the same family. I put on familiar clothes, listen to familiar sounds, recall familiar memories. I therefore know where I am and who I am.

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Nature
8:45 am
Tue February 14, 2012

Poor Will's Almanack: February 14 - 20, 2012

Cardinal
Flickr Creative Commons user K. W. Sanders

Poor Will's Almanack for the first week of Early Spring.

By this point in the year, my daybook of events in nature reveals many of the pieces of the fabric which forms Early Spring.

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Nature
8:35 am
Tue February 7, 2012

Poor Will's Almanack: February 7 - 13, 2012

Rhubarb
Flickr Creative Commons user zoyachubby

Poor Will’s Almanack for the Third Week of Late Winter

It's almost Early Spring. Time to be paying attention, time to be getting ready. ​

When you hear mourning doves singing before dawn, then organize all your buckets for tapping maple syrup. ​

When you hear red-winged blackbirds, then the maple sap should already be running. ​

When aconites bloom, then spread fertilizer in the field and garden so that it can work its way into the ground before planting. ​

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