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
6:15 am
Tue March 4, 2014

Poor Will's Almanack: March 4 - 10, 2014

Credit TonySutton410 / Flickr Creative Commons

Robins start chirping before dawn this week. Here are a few of my daybook entries about that milestone in the progress of the year:

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Nature
6:15 am
Tue February 25, 2014

Poor Will's Almanack: February 25 - March 3, 2014

Credit Doug88888 / Flickr Creative Commons

In the late 1970s, an IBM research scientist named Mandelbrot looked at fluctuations in all kinds of phenomena, from the stock market to cloud formations. He came to the conclusion that these very different occurrences were related to one another, and that they revealed an underlying force that pervaded every aspect of life on earth.

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Nature
8:15 am
Tue February 18, 2014

Poor Will's Almanack: February 18 - 24, 2014

Credit Anita363 / Flickr Creative Commons

Today, the 18th day of the year’s second month, the sun reaches a declination of almost 12 degrees, the halfway point to equinox. Now, the sun, which took 60 days to travel to this point, suddenly doubles its speed, entering wet and fertile Pisces, and initiating the season of early spring, a six-week period of changeable conditions infiltrated ever so slowly by warmer and warmer temperatures that finally bring the maple trees and early bulbs to bloom.

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Nature
8:15 am
Tue February 11, 2014

Poor Will's Almanack: February 11 - 17, 2014

Credit jlodder / Flickr Creative Commons

This is the week along the 40th Parallel that the day’s length becomes a full hour longer than it was on December 26th. Sunset now occurs near 6:00 p.m. for the first time since the middle of October, and the brighter afternoons tell the groundhogs and opossums that it’s mating time; raccoons and beavers seek partners, too.

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Nature
8:15 am
Tue February 4, 2014

Poor Will's Almanack: February 4 - 10, 2014

Credit arsheffield / Flickr Creative Commons

A friend of mine sent me the “Hermit Songs” of anonymous Irish monks and scholars who, over a thousand years ago, scribbled their verses in the margins of the manuscripts they were copying. One of those poems, translated by W.H. Auden, expresses the pleasure of sitting in front of the fire beside a white cat named Pangur.

Pangur, white Pangur,
How happy we are
alone together, scholar and cat,
Each has his own work to do daily….
Thus we live ever
Without tedium or envy.
Pangur, white Pangur,
How happy we are.

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