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.

Pages

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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Nature
8:15 am
Tue August 13, 2013

Poor Will's Almanack: August 13 - 19, 2013

Credit Flickr Creative Commons user supertin

 Audio FilePoor Will’s Almanack for the second week of Late SummerEdit | Remove

Once when my wife was in the hospital and we were waiting for her to be discharged, we ran out of words and thoughts, and we ended up just watching the lanky altostratus clouds that slowly moved across the sky outside her window.

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Nature
8:15 am
Tue August 6, 2013

Poor Will's Almanack: August 6 - 12, 2013

Credit Flickr Creative Commons user jharris0221

It seems to me now that the spin of the world is speeding up, that time is moving more quickly than it did just a month ago. It seems that late summer is sinking around me, and that the entire year is collapsing, and that there is too much left to feel and do.

I struggle to find footholds with which to keep my balance in time

I want to understand everything that is happening to nature and to me, but I get distracted by thinking and trying to know, and then I lose my place and fall away from the path.

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Nature
8:15 am
Tue July 30, 2013

Poor Will's Almanack: July 30 - August 5, 2013

Credit Flickr Creative Commons user rocketlass

The trajectory of August and the transition to late summer are made up of interlocking associations. Some of these connections are used by farmers and gardeners, others are tools for awareness of how the world fits together.

Throughout the month ahead, when spiders start to increase their building of webs in the woodlot, then yellow jacket season to begin in the windfall apples and plums, and morning fogs increase in the lowlands.

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Nature
8:35 am
Tue July 23, 2013

Poor Will's Almanack: July 23 - 29, 2013

Credit Flickr Creative Commons user MarilynJane

Once in a while I wonder about the meaning of summer, and that, of course, is a thought too far.

So, I tell myself, just stay with the fifth week of middle summer. If I go back to spring or early summer, in my memory, I throw the wheel of time way out of kilter, and I wobble in its remnants and its chaff and clutter, the fallen mulberries and the sweet rocket seeds, the hay and the straw, the fledglings grown and the turquoise eggs that were flung and lost in the storms of May, regret and nostalgia and reminiscence.

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