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 September 17, 2013

Poor Will's Almanack: September 17 - 23, 2013

Credit Flickr Creative Commons user hep73

Many autumns ago, my wife and I camped at the Cumberland Island National Seashore. Accessible only by ferryboat, Cumberland is the southernmost of the Georgia barrier islands, a wooded retreat with miles of white and empty beaches….and small herds of wild horses.

When we returned home, I started thinking for some reason about the wild horses, and I then decided that there should be a herd or two of wild horses in the suburban village where I lived, and I came up with a few reasons why this should be so.

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Nature
8:15 am
Tue September 10, 2013

Poor Will's Almanack: September 10 - 16, 2013

Credit Flickr Creative Commons user jayandd

As frost time comes closer, I bring in the tomato plants I seeded in July, and I set up the greenhouse for winter.

The bugs and I will fight there until the new year. It will be a fair fight up until then, but they will begin to win as January ends, their ability to breed outlasting my ability to keep up with them, or my hope of overcoming them.

I could, I suppose, eliminate the insects with strong andefficient poisons, but they are part of a psychological system as well as an ecological system I set in place each year.

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Nature
8:15 am
Tue September 3, 2013

Poor Wil's Almanack: September 3 - 9, 2013

Credit Flickr Creative Commons user Joe Dsilva

The past fifty years have demonstrated how small the world really is. We all live under threat of the same atomic storm. The continents have been homogenized by data and technology. We have learned we are part of one another.

This awareness of interdependence has done much good. The world, however, is even smaller than some would have us think, and, unfortunately, the art of defining that space for oneself has been lost. It is considered back-to-the-landish for any layman to read the sky; reading one's own environment is almost unheard of.

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Nature
8:15 am
Tue August 27, 2013

Poor Will's Almanack: August 27 – September 2, 2013

Credit tgpotterfield

As September begins and bird migrations intensify, Taurus and the Pleiades rise late in the dark sky, and those constellations remain visible at night until middle spring when their disappearance coincides with the birds' return. The day's length drops below thirteen hours all along the 40th Parallel now, down about 120 minutes from its longest span at the middle of June.

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Nature
8:15 am
Tue August 20, 2013

Poor Will's Almanack: August 20 - 26, 2013

Credit Flickr Creative Commons user Autan

I was sitting at a beach along Lake Michigan. The wind was gentle and the sun was hot, and I dozed and read and stared out at the clear blue, blue sky and water. In the distance, sailboats moved across the horizon, and seagulls bobbed in the waves.

Things were all in order. Lovers walked hand in hand along the shore in front of me. Children built sand castles. Fathers raced with their sons, and mothers huddled and chatted with their daughters.

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