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Poor Will's Almanack: November 17 - 23, 2020

A wire fence in front of a farm field in fall.
Mark Strozier
Flickr Creative Commons

Poor Will’s Almanack for the third week of late fall, the first full week of the Manger Moon – the moon under which pasture growth slows and livestock owners feed more hay. It is the first week of the Sun in wintery Sagittarius.

These days as I go back over my November notes from previous years and make new notes about the season, my journal shows me a collection of static impressions, immobile portraits into which I can project myself through memory.

Reliving those entries, I can understand again what it was like to be witnessing and participating in whatever the diary records.

But I also ruminate on the brain’s radial power to pierce decades of linear and circular time and to link, blend and remake natural history as well as personal history.

As I walk the fields and woods this year, the same places I have walked for over forty years, I realize that my recollection of those places lacks clarity, is melded simply to an vague sense of place.

The image of the landscape binds together the years and so many experiences and impressions, erasing my age and the passage of time here.

In these walks of mine over old pathways…like in the dreams of my sleep… the elements of what has happened overlap and overlap again, unnamed, unattached, it seems, to any particular linear year, flickering like sunlight on time, softening the harshness impending change.

This is Bill Felker with Poor Will’s Almanack. I’ll be back again next week with notes for the fourth week of late fall. In the meantime, stand in a familiar place and allow the past become present, the present past.

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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.