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Poor Will's Almanack: August 28 - September 3, 2018

A squirrel appears from behind a tree.
Andrew Johnston
/
Flickr Creative Commons

For me, nostalgia often accompanies the steady transformation of the landscape. Memories proliferate, and my mind travels back and forth through the concentric circles of the years, sifting images and feelings, recent and distant events, sorting and ruminating, nothing making much sense.

This morning, I went outside into fog and dew.  I saw that a big fat orb-weaver spider had made its web across the shed door overnight. I remember this time last year, I wasn’t paying attention and walked into the same kind of web in front of the same door.

Today, from morning until evening, squirrels chirred and chattered in the woodlot behind my house. I remembered back in 2004, Casey mentioned to me that when he and Rusty, Joe and Eli were having coffee at Dino’s, they talked about the unusually intense activity of the squirrels. “They were packing walnuts like they were just invented,” said Casey. “Looks like it’s going to be a cold winter.”   

In fact as I looked back through my notes, I could the winter had been mild. So much for Prepping.

Tonight I sat on the porch, the wind before the coming storm pulled showers of yellow locust leaves to the lawn beside me. The crickets and katydids were in full song as the storm drew nearer. I remembered that this was about the time Hurricane Katrina came ashore and that the greatest amount of rain in American history fell in Texas. The last days of August: perhaps the crucible of climate change.

This is Bill Felker with Poor Will’s Almanack. I’ll be back again next week with notes for the fifth week of Late Summer.  In the meantime, watch the squirrels pack up the walnuts. Wait for the storm

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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.