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.

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