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Poor Will's Almanack: July 26 - August 1

 Day lilies in Ohio
James St. John
/
Wikimedia Commons

Poor Will’s Almanack for the fifth week of Deep Summer, the first week of the Soaring Swallow Moon, the second week of the Sun in Leo.

I have been sitting on my back porch more lately. I have been watching birds and the few rare butterflies and the final unmoving lilies.

I have been thinking about how the longer I watch certain things, the longer they last.

No surprise here: Most people know that if you keep watching the clock before the end of work, time passes more slowly.

Quantum physics includes the concept that observation can actually change matter. Perhaps observation can lengthen time.

When I glance at lilies and look away, they are gone. Summer is short that way. Pretty soon the coneflowers come and go, then the asters, and then I eat the last bowl of raspberries, and then the leaves turn and fall.

Of course, it is sort of that way with everything. Summer, children, lovers, gardens, maybe even pain and pleasure.

So often, time is a choice. So often even the nature of motion and matter is a choice.

This is Bill Felker with Poor Will’s Almanack. I’ll be back again next week with notes for the final week of Deep Summer. In the meantime, spend some time with quantum physics. Just sit and watch the world. Maybe you can lengthen summer. Maybe you can keep it all.

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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.