Saturday, February 02, 2013

Let the Bells Ring Out .....

.... Let the Banners fly!

Yes its Groundhog Day - the day when Marmota monax across North America, for some inexplicable reason, break their hibernation cycle, pop their little furry faces out of their burrows, make sucking whistling noises and look for their shadows.  Now why these little rodents would do this no one seems to know and where exactly this augurial talent fit in with their ability to decimate a lovely patch of bachelor's buttons (yes I know its been 7 years time to get over it!) has never been explained.
Many thanks to Skip at Skip's House of Chaos for this one.

And where the heck did this tradition start?  Well its a stretch but today on the Christian calender is Candlemas or the Feast of the Presentation - once known as the Feast of the Purification of the Virgin of Mary, but let's not go there - and there is an old Scottish couplet that warns : "If Candlemas Day is bright and clear, there'll be two winters in the year."  So it could be that Groundhog Day is a bit of reversal on the Christian tradition of hijacking Pagan Feasts.  Though of course Candlemas - the day on which all the candles to be used throughout the year are blessed - was possibly a hijacking by Christians of the old Celtic feast of Imbolc.  So the wheel of karma turns - oh wait a minute that's another tradition.

What ever the reason for this secular Festum Marmota Monax may be, news wires across the continent are burning up with the results of this year's predictions - if indeed there are still news wires and they are combustible.  As the sun moves from Atlantic to Pacific the tally has been mounting:
Now my list could continue on as it seems many places across North America are claiming they have the true prophet of spring in their care however every one knows that the only serious seers of the seasons are Willie and Phil.  And as I bundle up to go out in the -17c that is Groundhog Day, Candlemas or what you will I'm going with Willie and Phil.  And if they are right I promise to forget about the bachelor's buttons !

Update:  All stations now reported in - and the consensus is "early spring"  which in Ottawa means sometime in late May - early June.

*Apologies to Balzac Billy for confusing him with Brandon Bob - after a while one groundhog looks like the last groundhog.

02 February - 1901: Funeral of Queen Victoria

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Debra She Who Seeks said...

Excuse me, but Balzac Bob has a bone to pick with you. He's as serious as any groundhog! Bachelor Buttons Beware!

yvette said...

minus 17°c ... I could not survive.... and your Canadian moles look bigger than our Alpine ones! I learn a lot reading you! wonderful story (sans crêpes Suzette.)