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Poor Will's Almanack: May 21 - 27, 2013

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Flickr Creative Commons user stevendepolo

Like a collector of rocks or a hobbyist or researcher, I take notes about what happens in nature and when it happens. I collect scraps of information from my walks and drives, and I try to organize them. The people who keep track of basketball statistics and other sports records remind me of myself. I have a nephew and a brother-in-law like that. For all of us, there are never enough scraps.

And all those pieces are interconnected, if only by the imagination of the gatherer and by the obsession that gathers them. They seem to be evidence of something greater than themselves, and one piece often points to another, pieces becoming evidence of some hypothesis or some grand vision. The part becomes the whole, the whole never containing enough parts to prove the point or to satisfy the quest. The inner world and the outer world lead each other on, stirring and teasing the mix, overlapping so that one never really knows what is a parcel of what.

The fact that events in nature occur in repeating cycles thickens the stew. As there can always be one more event, there can always be one more cycle, barring the Rapture or the strike of an asteroid. If this year is not enough, other years could fill the empty spaces.

Given the lack of boundaries, given the limitless quarry of space and time from which to extract sounds and colors and textures and movements, nothing could possibly be frivolous or out of place. To the collector, everything might eventually find its niche, or open new pathways or become the final clue that unlocks the melody in which all the lines have meaning.

This is Bill Felker with Poor Will’s Almanack. I’ll be back again next week with notes for the first week of early summer. In the meantime, listen to the music. Every line has meaning.

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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.