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Poor Will's Almanack: October 10 - 16, 2023

Fall Leaves in Cleveland, Ohio
Jen Goellnitz

Poor Will’s Almanack for the days of Middle Fall the time of the Pumpkin Moon and the sun in autumn's Libra.

Coming home after a trip to Italy to see my daughter, Neysa, I walked the garden, taking random inventory.

The statuesque wild lettuce plants, which were maybe a dozen feet tall, had gone to seed. Their flowers had turned to silken dandelion-down-like clusters so fine that when I tried to hold them, my fingers couldn't even feel them, and they floated off when I tried to put them into an envelope to save for planting at the end of winter.

Then, I went and counted the zinnias in bloom, and I stroked the petals of the canna lilies that remained in flower.

Then... I stood for a long time in a drift of of new purple asters. Their heads were so lush, so royal and

bright leaning into the low afternoon sun. And how many honeybees were there!

After the disorientation from travel, I basked in the security of the bees. They glided and hovered, humming, their motion and voice veiling their gyroscopic, spinning power that held me still and stable to this one fixed fragment of Earth.

I was safe here despite the unmanageable advance of autumn and all the changes rushing in.

This is Bill Felker with Poor Will’s Almanack. I’ll be back again next week with more notes on the seasons. In the meantime, find a safe place for yourself in the crazy world. Maybe even with bees.

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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.