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Poor Will's Almanack: January 31 - February 6, 2023

Melting snow.
It's No Game

Poor Will’s Almanack for the second week of  Late Winter, the third week of the Cardinal Mating Moon, the second week of the Sun in Aquarius.

Escaping the end of the Groundhog Day Thaw, I drive south into spring then summer, arriving at the semi-tropical habitat, near Sarasota, Florida

With no sign of Midwestern winter. I settle down in the sun.

Looking back over my Ohio daybook, I see how all the notes from this time of year reach south, look forward.

The notations from that cold time and place are fragments of longing as well as projections, wishing toward relief, visualizing warmth and sun, collecting pieces of the puzzle of spring, knowing that the completion of the puzzle is only a matter of distance or circumstance or decision.

I realize that the details of January – such as cardinal song or the sighting of bluebirds or the gathering of geese or the appearance of snowdrop tips pushing through the mulch and snow – are almost desparate constructs, a toying with promises and signs, the fulfillment of which already exists only a few hundred miles away from my place in the North. And yet so often that fulfillment feels so achingly, impossibly distant.

But Having escaped now, I indulge in magnolias with pink flowers, in yellow Jessamine along the road, in red quinces, in rosy-petaled camelias, in scarlet azaleas, orange lilies, pastel crepe myrtles, a yellow and black tiger swallowtail butterfly, even a monarch.

This is Bill Felker with Poor Will’s Almanack. I’ll be back again next week with notes for the third week of Late Winter. 

In the meantime, summer is moving north at the rate of about five miles a day. It won't be long before you can escape at home.

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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.