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Poor Will's Almanack: February 27 - March 5, 2018

Kaarina Dillabough
Flickr Creative Commons

March had come in like a lion. And in the morning, I walked through town along the road to the songs of sparrows and crows, southeast into woods of Osage and scrub black walnuts and box elders.

All their branches were coated with ice, were shining in the sun, the world bright, steaming from the melting water.

I moved out of the open road and the noise of the city, into a protective hive of reflected light and a kind of bee-like murmuring that grew stronger as I entered the woods and took away all my attention away from the world outside. 

I was at peace. I walked slowly stroking the bark of trees slippery from the storm. The ice dropped around me, pieces like brittle cocoons or cicada ectoskelletons, fossils of the branches, the winter’s hulls, crisp calices of raindrops shattered in the March sun.

I felt as if I were walking in rain and hail, but the sky was so pure blue. There was no wind at all, and so it seemed to me that it was the warmth of the sun alone that undid the branches and created the clatter or a ticking and then a hum and song of Early Spring, distracting me from the possibility there could be other sounds from the highway nearby or from the sparrows and crows I had always heard here in the woods.

The new day fell down all around me, into my hair, down the back of my coat. I broke off an icicle licked it and then bit down on its tip, spring melting in my mouth.  I stepped deliberately into layers of the bangles of the storm, crunching and crackling my way into the open field where suddenly the grass was soft and silent, and  I could hear birds again and cars passing on the road half a mile away.

This is Bill Felker with Poor Will’s Almanack. I’ll be back again next week with notes for the third week of Early Spring. In the meantime, this year’s third supermoon is just two days away. Maybe it will bring a lion and its magic once again.

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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.