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Poor Will's Almanack: September 8 - 14, 2015

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This week the asters bloom in the garden and field, the small-petaled white ones and the purple New England asters. Tall goldenrod, great blue lobelia, orange touch-me-not, white snakeroot and pink smartweed still hold their blossoms in the woods and waysides.

This morning, a shower of black walnut leaves brought me a sequence of impressions that occupied my mind for the rest of the day. The images included the autumn outside the window of my boyhood room, my father raking leaves in the yard, my mother in the kitchen, the smell of bread baking, the forced air heat on my skin before breakfast, walks to school in the cold, feelings of comfort and regret, nostalgia, sadness, contentment.

This afternoon, when I walked through the park, I saw cabbage butterflies, one dark swallowtail, one painted lady. A groundhog was about to cross the way, saw me and retreated.. A flock of starlings swooped and spun in the sky.

These floating pieces of past and present autumns continue to fit into place, each fragment an increment on the gauge of the year, measuring the relationship of the earth to the sun, and my relationship to the places in which I have lived. None of the notes or observations or memories seems irrelevant; each moment of awareness, like each physical particle one might observe, is a seasonal cell, like a holographic segment, containing the psychic and cosmic whole.

This is Bill Felker with Poor Will’s Almanack. I’ll be back again next week with notes for the second week of early fall. In the meantime, walk in your complete cosmic space. Everything fits.

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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.