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Poor Will's Almanack: June 14 – 20, 2011

Flickr Creative Commons user bunnygoth

Poor Will’s Almanack for the fourth and final week of early summer.

The more I keep track of the year and of my own feelings, the more I realize just how much I depend on the tilt of the earth for my state of mind.

I recognize that I feel more optimistic and more energetic when the sun shines than when it does not shine. I know that the height and color of the clouds alter my view of life. Under dramatic, sweeping cirrus, my spirits rise with anticipation. Beneath low, gray stratocumulus, I often get a little claustrophobic and am easily depressed.

If the wind is strong, I become exhilarated; when the wind dies down, my excitement disappears. During summer thunderstorms, I usually feel refreshed. In the long, chilling rains of early spring and late fall, I sometimes wonder if I'll ever see blue sky again. I am invigorated when the temperature falls into the 20s and 30s, become more cautious when it goes into the teens. I want to stay indoors by the fire and hibernate when it drops below zero.

When the days are hot and humid, I become slow and pace myself to the air. When the days are dry, bright, and in the 60s and 70s, I feel I should be outside, working or wandering. The glowing green of early spring sets me planning and dreaming.

The transformations of fall carry obvious, violent and beautiful messages about passage, and every year they have me restless, and listening for geese, and fantasizing migration to the tropics. The bare branches and the tight buds of winter tell about simultaneous death and inversion of death; they reassure me about dying and about resurrection, too.

Next week on Poor Will's Miami Valley Almanack: notes for the first week of Middle Summer. In the meantime, watch the ways you change with the weather and the seasons.

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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.