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Poor Will's Almanack: December 11 - 17, 2018

Dave Inman
Flickr Creative Commons

As Early Winter deepens, my fantasy looks past the cold into the ladder of time toward Early Spring.  My fantasies climb the ladder, counting

One week remains before the Sun starts to climb just a little toward equinox.

Two weeks before the arrival of Deep Winter and the coldest days of the year.

Three weeks before aphelion, the Earth’s position farthest from the Sun.

Four weeks until owls and foxes mate.

Five weeks until the tufted titmouse begins its mating calls and pines start to pollinate

Six weeks until the traditional January Thaw

Seven weeks until cardinals start to sing before dawn

Eight weeks until doves join the cardinals, and maple sap begins to run.

Nine weeks until the first red-winged blackbirds arrive in the wetlands

Ten weeks to the first snowdrop bloom and the official start of early spring

Eleven weeks to pussy willow emerging season

Twelve weeks to crocus season

Thirteen weeks to the beginning of the morning robin chorus before sunrise

Fourteen weeks to daffodil time

Such a timetable may be pushed forward by a mild winter, pulled back by below- normal temperatures, but the course of the year is always incremental, always relatively predictable. Counting is simply a reminder that sequence is a friend and that winter is finite. Broken into particles, it is a figment of our thoughts.

This is Bill Felker with Poor Will’s Almanack. I’ll be back again next week with notes for the third week of Early Winter and the third week of the new Flowering Jessamine Moon.  In the meantime, don’t forget to count.

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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.