In my urban patio setting here in Northwestern USA, it is not too early to find the volunteer hearty Wood Hyacinth getting a jump on the season. Apparently squirrels do not care for their taste as they devoured all of my crocus.
Happy Ground Hog Day!
Celebrated by the Druids as the festival of the lactating sheep. Herd animals have either given birth to the first offspring of the year or their wombs are swollen and the milk of life is flowing into their teats and udders. It is the time of Blessing of the seeds and consecration of agricultural tools. It marks the center point of the dark half of the year. It is the festival of the Maiden, for from this day to March 21st, it is her season to prepare for growth and renewal. Brighid’s snake emerges from the womb of the Earth Mother to test the weather, (the origin of Ground Hog Day), and in many places the first Crocus flowers began to spring forth from the frozen earth.
According to lore, if the groundhog emerges from his burrow on February 2 and sees his shadow, he will be frightened back into his hole, presaging another six weeks of winter. A cloudy day — and no shadow — means winter will end early.
The results so far:
Shubnedacadie Sam (Nova Scotia): Spring
Punxsutawney Phil (Pennsylvania): Winter
Wiarton Willie (Ontario): Spring
General Beauregard Lee (Georgia): Spring
Buckeye Chuck (Ohio): Spring
Staten Island Chuck (New York state): Spring
Malverne Mel (New York state): Spring
Woody Woodchuck (Michigan): Spring
Ms. G. (Massachusetts): Winter
It was cloudy here when I went out to take the pictures on my patio. I did not see my shadow. I vote for Spring!