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Poor Will's Almanck: April 24 - 30, 2012

Flickr Creative Commons user Kari Kligore

Poor Will’s Almanack for the first week of Late Spring.

Some people I know have been a little uneasy with the beautiful spring weather this year.

At first, the sun and heat were were great blessings. For a while, everyone was excited by the abrupt end of winter - by the lack, in fact, of any appreciable winter at all. For a while, I went around saying, "I love global warming!"

But as I kept recording what was happening, I realized that March in my location of southwestern Ohio was looking like March in Savannah, Georgia. Things were even more extreme where my sisters lived in Wisconsin.

And then came doubts and fears: Will all the flowers freeze? Will the orchards be burned with frost Is this really global warming? What will happen with the cycles of insects, and survival of the birds, the broods of butterflies?

It is, after all, 2012, the year in which the Mayan cycle of 5,125 years comes to an end. Some people have been predicting catastrophe! Some possibilities include the reversal of the earth's magnetic poles, and the eruption of a great solar flare that will disrupt satellite communication. Some readers of the I Ching say that book predicts time itself will come to a close this year.

So what can can we do?

In all the books I have read on 2012, not only was the jury out about the end of the world, but it was also out about what to do about it.

The best most of the doomsayers could suggest was to keep your friends and family close, simplify your life, plant a few vegetables, live simply, stay home, be true to yourself, hunker down.

Not such bad advice, really, especially if the world doesn't end!

This is Bill Felker with Poor Will’s Almanack. I’ll be back again next week with notes for the second week of Late Spring. In the meantime, hunker down.

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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.