Monday, February 13, 2012
"The groundhog is like most other prophets; it delivers its prediction and disappears."
If, dear reader, you are familiar with the Bill Vaughn quote,"The groundhog is like most other prophets; it delivers its prediction and disappears," (which is "serving" as the title for today's blog entry), you may find yourself wondering if yours truly is like the groundhog, as I have "disappeared" from being "on the air" here on TLLG since February 2nd 2012 (Groundhog Day), which was the last time I posted here, letting you know that the things that I grow in my urban (NYC) terrace garden were poking their heads out of their winter gear to see what the groundhog had to say.
But then again, I am certainly no prophet, and I rarely make a prediction: the fact is, I have disappeared due to circumstances related to someone who died on February 3rd of 2011, and while TLLG is not a blog about my personal affairs, I am thankful to be back in the blogging saddle!
To pick up where I left off, I'll start with the outcome of Groundhog Day. As many of you may know, the "famous" groundhogs known as Punxsutaway Phil (from Pennsylvania) and Staten Island Chuck (from Staten Island New York), differed on their predictions this year.
Punxsutaway Phil saw his shadow, hence he "predicted" six more weeks of winter, while Staten Island Chuck did not see his shadow, hence "predicting" an early spring. If Staten Island Chuck's eyesight is like mine, it is not surprising that he did not see his shadow!
In any event, the tradition of Groundhog Day dates back to 1887 in the United States, but, apparently, this tradition started long before that, and the Romans looked to hedgehogs to forecast the ending of winter or the arrival of spring. However, when folks migrated to Pennsylvania, there weren't any hedgehogs to be found — so they used a groundhog instead!
My little hedgehog figurine, who spent time in my indoor succulent garden this past fall, is a bit "miffed" that the "role" of predicting the weather was delegated to a groundhog, so to appease him, I am including his photograph at the top of today's blog entry, even though his image was included in a blog post that I made here on TLLG this past November that you may refer to by clicking here.
As for the "is-winter-ending" and "when-will-spring begin" dialogue, I have very definite feelings. I don't like to rush the seasons! At this time of year, many folks say to me, "you must be anxious for spring," and a number of postings in my Facebook feed, are from gardeners and garden centers asking if my garden is ready for spring!
I find my response to this question to be a little similar to my feelings about folks putting Christmas decorations in shoppes in October, and people asking me in November what my plans are for summer travel. My humble opinion is that time is short as it is — a truth that "comes up" after the death of a loved one, such as I recently experienced — and I have never appreciated the rush to concentrate on the future (or the past for that matter) as I don't want to miss the now.
I have never felt the need for winter as much as I do this year. While I have always been fond of warmer temperatures, and have never been enthused to "dress in layers" to withstand cold temperatures, I have become quite aware of the need for winter this season. I suppose my feelings are brought on by the fact that we have had very little snowfall in New York City this year, which is something I discussed in a previous blog entry here on TLLG before my hiatus, and you may refer to that post by clicking here.
And, as I have stated before, snowfall, and accumulation of snow on New York City streets, makes it hard (and sometimes impossible) for the elderly and physically challenged — and even yours truly — to get around. But this year, in light of the small amount of snow that we have had, I feel like the clouds are tensely holding their breath — afraid to speak. Or that the clouds are similar to a person who has had to much too eat, and therefore needs to loosen his/her belt clip for relief.
What I am saying is, I am experiencing a certain "tension" in the air brought on by the "behavior" of winter this season. I have alluded to "tensions in the air" in the past — right here on TLLG — when I posted about Hurricane Irene — and in a blog entry which you may refer to by clicking here.
In attempt to cope with my weather-related tensions and pressures, I've been spring-cleanning my Aperture Library and will leave you today with a couple of things. First off, a couple of questions for you, dear reader: what are your thoughts about the "mild" winter the northeast has been experiencing? Or perhaps you live in an area where the opposite has been occurring, and, if so, what are your thoughts on winter's conditions where you are? If you are a gardener, how is whatever winter you are experiencing affecting the things that you grow? I have said my spring cleaning is mainly of my Aperture Library. What is yours?
Secondly, I'll leave you with a few images that I've discovered in my Aperture Library "cleaning" to remind me of seasons gone by in my urban garden, and hopefully of ones still to come.