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Poor Will's Almanack: February 6 - 12, 2024

via Flickr Creative Commons

Poor Will’s Almanack in the days of late winter, the time of the sun in Aquarius and the time of the opossum mating moon.

Over the years, I have planted hundreds of spring flowering bulbs. For the past few years, I have even tried to count their blossoms and compare how many have bloomed by whatever day. I find the more blossoms the better. Quantity matters. Spring is a matter of numbers. It is not only about warm weather but also about the number of leaves and flowers.

The first daffodil of the year is the most important, but by the third or fourth I become greedy, wanting more. I get restless for more and more. And so I am starting to imagine more and more now.

Actually, sometimes it seems that it is the waiting and imagining that matters as much as the sprouting and the growing and the counting. And there is an existential side to all this, too. I have planted all those bulbs as a challenge. I want to live to see the flowers come up and bloom and be counted. I want to be there for spring.

I was not always so eager to see the next season. But that has changed now. And I attribute my change to the sheer quantity of plants I have planted. I attribute my change to their encouragement, to their agency. I want to live because I want to see the world turn green and gold and red and orange and purple and have petals and stalks and leaves and pollen.

That didn't always used to be enough. Now it is almost enough.

This is Bill Felker with Poor Will’s Almanack. I’ll be back again next week with more notes on nature and the seasons. In the meantime, keep watch and use your imagination...the tulips and daffodils are coming. Everything is coming.

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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.