Saturday, February 24, 2024

Happy Year of the Dragon!

Lunar new year celebrations are about to come to an end with the first full moon of the year, tonight, February 24, 2024. I usually write a blog on Sunday, but I'm posting this early, so I can spend Sunday at the parade in New York City. There will be dragons, like this one from last year. I love this parade! Click to enlarge.

Gotta love the lions, too. I'll be back next week with parade highlights.

Sunday, February 18, 2024

Sights of the Season


It snowed! But that did not keep the witch hazel from blooming. Click to enlarge.

Then it snowed again.

The daffodils carried on, pushing toward spring.

Crocuses are built to withstand it.

Holly actually looks prettier with a shawl of snow and ice.

The snow was beautiful. It's practically all gone.

Yesterday these snowdrops were under a few inches of snow.

Sunday, February 11, 2024

Dekay's Brown Snake Sighting

I saw this little snake in my yard today. It's the first snake of the 2024 for me. It was in danger of getting stepped on where it was, so I gave it a ride in my hand. Initially, I thought it was a garter snake. A reader pointed out my mistake. Thanks!

To a less-traveled spot with leaves to blend into and slide under. Click to enlarge.           Cute face!

Sunday, February 4, 2024

The Midpoint of Winter


We just passed the midpoint of winter, February 1, which is halfway between the winter solstice and the spring equinox. Yay! If we were ancient Celts we would have just celebrated the holiday of Imbolc.

And if we were celebrating Imbolc, we might have checked around to see if any snakes had come out of their burrows to predict the duration of winter weather in accordance with the legend. 

Wait -- we still do that on Groundhog Day, but with groundhogs instead of snakes, right? Turns out that they are equally good at meteorological prognostication. The 2024 groundhog did not see it's shadow. That foretells a smooth path to an early spring. The National Weather Service is predicting the same thing. Let the gardening begin! 

Also, February 2 was Candlemas Day for Christians. The holiday occurs 40 days after Christmas and according to some marks the end of the Christmas season. One of the nice things about Candlemas is that there is a high probability of being able to eat pancakes or tamales.

These winter-blooming snowdrop flowers are also known as Candlemas flowers. They are winter-hardy early bloomers that will push up through snow and frozen ground to appear in time for Candlemas. Mine are always on time. Click to enlarge.

Also note that there are crocuses blooming in my yard right now. Local sunset will be at 5:23 today and 5:24 tomorrow.

So, even though it may have seemed like an uneventful week, it was not.