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Poor Will's Almanack: July 3 - 9, 2018

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Poor Will’s Almanack for the second week of Deep Summer, the final week of the Turtle Hatching Moon, the third week of the Sun in Cancer

At 10:36 in the morning of  July 6, the Earth reaches aphelion, the point at which it is about 153 million kilometers (its greatest distance) from the Sun. Aphelion occurs almost exactly six months from perihelion, Earth’s position closest to the Sun (about 148 million kilometers).

When one thing is happening, says the first law of phenology, something else is happening, too. Finches in the thistledown, cicadas calling through the day, katydids at night, all measure the Sun and pull the Dog Days in.

This is simple Earth astronomy with which one might read plants and birds and insects in order to read the galaxy.

Earth astronomy is like a mathematical formula of space and events, where "X" could be the sky and "Y" could be elderberry fruit and blueberries and summer peaches.

And the secret of that formula lies in seeing the parts reflecting one another, tied like theorems in a true geometry of creation. The secret lies in seeing constellations of close and distant objects, stars that may have died a million years ago, still shining in their lanky formations, placed into shapes by our minds, tied to other shapes here on Earth, noticing them all around, so that aphelion itself becomes visible and tangible in the the tangle of sounds and colors and odors and tastes and appear on the land like shadows of the distant aphelion Sun.

This is Bill Felker with Poor Will’s Almanack. I’ll be back again next week with notes for the third Week of Deep Summer. In the meantime, do the math; play with the formulae of space and time.

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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.