02 February 2011

the beginning of the end

it's february second, groundhog day here. with the widespread snowstorm raging outside, there's no way he'll see his shadow. he may not even be able to to burrow through all the snow to get to the surface!
today is one of four cross-quarter days of the year, this one mid-way between the winter solstice and the vernal equinox, the halfway point between winter and spring. the importance of this time of year in many cultures gives rise to celebrations today like candlemas, imbolc, st. brigid's day, lichun, and gŵyl y canhwyllau. although traditions vary greatly, the underlying significance of this day seems to involve the slow return of light and the anticipation of new life and spring. interesting how universally important it is for winter to come to an end. 
it seems somehow fitting that today is the day i find these birds outside my window, robins at the holly bushes, scavenging for berries. later in the day, i find more at the crabapple in the field. i wonder if this is indeed a sign of spring or just an indication of what a snowy winter we've been having. 



8 comments:

Rebecca Bany said...

Beautiful picture!
www.rebeccabany.com

Velveteen Rabbit said...

Thats a Christmas card type photo and really wonderful!
We have had much snow this year for little ole England, yours looks like its there for a while yet

Sey said...

I love the picture you've taken. Maybe the poor robin is in hunt for food.

~she~ said...

I didn't realize that Groundhog Day marked the midpoint between winter and spring. How interesting.

Jenner said...

How strange to see a robin in a blizzard, this time of year!

Aurelia said...

Well, I know I said to my Mom the day before yesterday that I felt as though it was Spring already. It's still very cold here and the odd flurry of snow every so often, but it definitely feels as though winter is already on the way out.

Normally I love the winter, and I've enjoyed this one, but I am glad to see the back of it this year.

Linda Chapman said...

We have been keeping our bird feeders full during this weird week of ice in North Texas! I have spotted purple finches and a red headed woodpecker as well as dozens of doves....several of these having found refuge on our front porch bench!

Star said...

Thanks for the photo of the robin, perhaps my favorite bird: childhood memories and the happy red color. One of the things I miss about being in the U.S. is seeing Bill Murray's "Groundhog Day."