Saturday, February 02, 2008

Groundhog Day

The storm we received yesterday was a bad as promised for those who had to drive on the roads or do any shovelling. We didn't finish off with freezing rain, but received 20 cm of wet, heavy snow. Schools and universities were closed, but the hospital had to be staffed, no matter how bad the conditions were. I got stuck three times on the way home and had to back up and try other routes to our street but was thankful to arrive to light and warmth indoors.

As I looked out the windows at the hospital feeders, the sight was very lovely, with fresh snow on the trees and plenty of bird activity. The feeders have never been so busy and the usually skittish and difficult to photograph Northern Cardinal posed several times for me. The White-breasted Nuthatch below also showed its best colours.

Today is Groundhog Day. Check out Winterwoman's post for a bit of history about this midwinter celebration. I didn't know that February 2nd is half way between winter solstice and the vernal equinox. Wiarton is a small community on the Bruce Peninsula in Ontario. Wiarton Willie is its most famous resident and this pampered groundhog did not see his shadow today indicating an early spring is on the way. Never mind that Willie has only been accurate in his predictions 37% of the time. Pennsylvania's groundhog, Punxsutawney Phil did see his shadow and this indicates six more weeks of winter.

Mardi Gras is this Tuesday and Lent starts on Wednesday marking the start of the Easter season which comes early this year. The next six weeks will belong to winter, but spring will strengthen and tease us with increasing sunlight and warmth. Six weeks is not forever!


  1. PANCAKE TUESDAAAAAAAY!!!!!! PACZKIS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D (I want the lemon filled ones!!! No prune please!!!)

  2. ...and yes, that snow storm was something else yesterday (you shoveled it, and then later on it looked like you did nothing at all....).

  3. Anonymous1:46 pm GMT-5

    Happy Groundhogs Day and I love your photos! We were hit with a storm yesterday also and now all our roads are all slushy/ice!

  4. Anonymous2:00 pm GMT-5

    Wow... you got Real Snow (even if it was heavy and wet.) I really want 20 degrees and about a foot of snow... maybe more... I hope Phil's prediction is right for our area!

  5. That first pic is worthy of a Christmas card.

  6. As someone who lives in Pennsylvania, I truly get tired of all the local news stories on Punxatwaney Phil (and Octarora Orkie--no kidding!). We have way too many groundhogs doing weather forecasts here.
    And, oddly, we have had almost NO snow this winter--only about 5 inches the whole winter. I keep wishing for more. I am sure there are folks who would send us some.

  7. What a bright spot on a dreary day (here as well as in Ontario) your cardinal on snowy branch is! Thanks.

  8. Lent ... already! Lemon filled pancakes ... these sound might interesting. I checked your recipe blog and did not find them. Soon to appear?

  9. During the next six, long, weeks, I hope for some snow - just once. We had an inch a few weeks ago. Not enough for fun.

  10. Ruth,

    Yes, it was groundhog day. Isn't it silly, but the history is interesting. I saw it on the news tonight.

    Becka is right! Pancake Day. Yumm! I haven't had pancakes for years and just might make us some. I do it for the boys, but like maple syrup on mine, so usually pass it by.

    Love the photos. Thanks so much for sharing. I'm glad you had warmth and light when you finally got home from work. Hubby was working out in that storm all night long.

    Take care, my friend. Keep warm and cozy.


  11. Becka- Paczkis are awfully fattening! (but tasty). And I know your shovelling work looked like nothing by the end of the day.

    Monarch- I liked your Groundhog post too. I think we all want spring.

    Jennifer- I am surprised you didn't get the snow. I am sure there is enough here to make you happy.

    Jean- Thanks...Maybe I will use it next Christmas

    KGMom- I didn't know you had more than one rodent forecasting weather. Willie is our lone special groundhog in Ontario. I wouldn't want to add up all the inches of snow we have had so far and would be glad to share with you.

    FMDoc- Thanks. The snow does set off the red of the Cardinal and I was lucky to get the shot.

    CS- I sent you a FB email about Paczkis, the special Polish doughnuts made before Lent.

    Mary- Your inch of snow looked pretty while it lasted. Are you sure it wasn't enough??

    ON Mary- Your husband is a good man to be out all night after a big storm. We will be eating pancakes on Tuesday and it is really the only time we do so.

  12. Well, our resident groundhog, General Beauregard Lee (in Stone Mountain, GA) did NOT see his shadow, which correlates with the early appearance of my daffodils peaking up from the bed at the mailbox.

    For Shrove Tuesday, we are doing a "Pirate Eucharist" skit. Pretty funny! Then, we'll all eat the pancakes. :c)

  13. Around where I am which is Exmoor in Somerset, West Country UK, the snowdrops are the first to appear, then the daffodils and then the primroses.

    Pretty soon we will be able to play tennis in the evenings without lights. It's a great time for renewal after the winter.

  14. What a beautiful picture of the cardinal, Ruth. So thoughtful to have bird feeders set up outside the hospital. It must give everyone a lot of pleasure.

  15. Those last lovely sentences rang like the Alleluia Chorus, Ruth. Yea! C'mon Spring!

  16. Cardinals and nuthatches, 2 of my favorite birds! I used to live in Presque Isle, Maine, not far form New Brunswick where we went to the dentist because it was cheaper! We had some long cold winters there and spring could never come soon enough for me, which is why I live in AZ now, though we did have a bit of snow today. Hang in there, spring will return!

  17. Jayne- Your groundhog has a very officious name! Hopefully he has the dignity to be accurate a bring on an early appearance of your daffodils.

    Rob- Thanks for visiting and commenting. I do believe you will be enjoying spring weather before us. I will be lucky to find a snowdrop by the middle of March. Our daylight is now extending to 5:30 PM.

    April- Thanks- The feeders at the hospital are the joy of my day. And the patients and staff love them too.

    Hi Cathy!- Yes, I hope spring is not delayed!

    Kathiesbirds- Thanks for visiting and commenting. You have really been around. I think I would prefer AZ to NB too!

  18. Anonymous7:08 pm GMT-5

    I love that picture of the cardinal. They look like tropical birds that don't belong in a snowy environment.

  19. Science Guy- I am glad to have one brilliant bird, especially in the winter. In my grandmother's day there were no cardinals in Ontario. They have gradually spread their range into southern Ontario.


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