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
8:15 am
Tue November 26, 2013

Poor Will's Almanack: November 26 - December 2, 2013

Credit Flickr Creative Commons user Sidereal

The other day when I emerged from the brown late-autumn woods, I came across two marble angels, taller on their knees than I was standing. They were gray and weathered, their heads bowed, their palms together in prayer, wings poised high.

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Nature
7:15 am
Tue November 19, 2013

Poor Will's Almanack: November 19 - 25, 2013

Credit Flickr Creative Commons user indeliblemistakes

The sun enters Sagittarius on November 22, having traveled three-fourths of its way from autumn equinox to winter solstice. Two hours before midnight, the sky carries the forms of early winter. The Pleiades, Taurus and Orion are rising. The Milky Way cuts across the sky from east to west,.Andromeda lies directly overhead, and the Summer Triangle is setting.

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Nature
8:15 am
Tue November 12, 2013

Poor Will's Almanack: November 12 - 18, 2013

Credit Flickr Creative Commons user Jackie Kever

I am up at six thirty in the morning sitting in the greenhouse. Middle November, at the end of leaf drop. The sky half dawn, light and dark equal through the fast gray nimbostratus clouds and the storm. The wind is hard from the southeast. The pattern of the gusts and rain creates a shape of its own, harsh like pebbles or hail, then soft, sweeping and blending, retreating.

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Nature
8:15 am
Tue November 5, 2013

Poor Will's Almanack: November 5 - 11, 2013

Garlic mustard
Credit Flickr Creative Commons user HuronPines

In warm late autumns, garlic mustard has grown four or five inches tall, its leaves wide and bright. Chickweed has come back all along the paths, and cress has revived in the pools and streams. Skunk cabbage has pushed up all over the swamp, some plants even opening a little. The low sun sets the new plants glowing like they glow in April. At the river’s edge, the water is rippled blue, black, green, and brown, bare tree branches tangled in reflections.

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Nature
8:15 am
Tue October 29, 2013

Poor Will's Almanack: October 29 – November 4, 2013

Credit Flickr Creative Commons user Steve_C

I walked in the late afternoon with Bella, my border collie, the temperature mild, the sky streaked with high cirrus, the sun low and almost white, the woods floor bright with fresh chickweed, moneywort, buttercup, mint, henbit, garlic mustard, some waterleaf and leafcup growing back.

I listened to the wind in the high trees that sometimes shut out the sounds of the highway to the west. I heard the call of one flicker or pileated woodpecker.

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