This is our family garden blog, where we share our trials and errors as well as our successes with friends and family.
Yes, the picture of the lizard is one I took, see the butterfly wings sticking out of his mouth?

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Goundhog Day 2011

I LOVE Groundhog Day, it's my favorite Holiday. I'm just funny that way, if I could afford to send gifts, that's the day I would do it, and only to people who truly appreciate spring, not just anyone.

As I spend the morning, warm and comfy in my home, sipping coffee still in my robe, checking out the weather forecasts and blizzard conditions in some of the less fortunate states, I'm grateful that here in NE TX, all we got is a bit of rain, and some bitter cold. We are not out of the woods yet, so to speak, someone could still very well hit a power line and we could be with out electricity for a time, but we have a top notch rural electric company, and we are rarely with out power for very long. I would rather be with out power in the winter, than in the summer, we have a wood burning stove, so heat is not an issue, we may have to bath in the sink since we are on well water, but it sure beats 100 degree heat, no breeze, and no air.

I heard a story once about my favorite day of the year, and it only endeared the day to me more. It goes something like this.....

As the happily married couple sat enjoying their quiet morning breakfast, the wife asked her husband lovingly if he knew what today way. He lovingly replied, "Of course I do sweetheart" and pulled out his billfold, handed her $50 and told her to do something nice for herself. The wife later told her friend "It was the best Groundhog Day ever"!!!

I'm not sure when or why Groundhog Day became my favorite day of the year, topping even my birthday, maybe it's because I've always been a bit warped eccentric. There are now more than 1 Groundhog that get's special treatment, there's Punxsutawny Phil, Wiarton Willie (Wiarton is about 100 miles Northwest of Toronto) and General Beauregard Lee from Liburn, Georgia. And there was a Claude the Crawfish from Shreveport LA, but I have been unable to find any recent information on him. All three groundhogs say early spring.

Now, I know these guys are really woodchucks and they are just animals, and it all really just depends on the weather that day, but supposedly this is a tradition that goes back way before Phil was found, and the date February 2nd has some significant importance, like the fact it is halfway between the winter equinox and summer solstice, no wonder people are looking for signs of spring, they have cabin fever. For a bit more history check out General Beauregard's page here.

Do I actually buy into the weather predictions of a groundhog, I'm not sure, but I do know I can tell how cold it's going to get by looking at the coats of the local livestock, and watching to see how busy the squirrels are. To top it off, only one other source has been more accurate than Phil, and that's the Farmer's Almanac, and they are rarely off on their predictions, and even more rare, are they way off. This time of year I begin to look for the first flowers to peek out of the ground, and yes they have started. There are daffodil leaves about 2" up, one of our trees is getting buds, and things are turning green. I don't put too much stock in seeing robins in the yard down here, this is where they come for the winter, but I do look for the ducks and geese to start flying north, I've seen some on the move. Granted, they may have been headed to Galveston or New Orleans for this hopefully last cold snap, (Farmer's Almanac says it's not), and I wish I was going with them.

I come from a long line of farmers, in fact I'm a descendant of Martha Washington (yes it's true that her and George had no children). When I go back up to Illinois in the spring, which is rare because I have too many things to grow here, I can roll down my window and smell which type of fertilizer was last spread on the fields. I can tell you what livestock the farm over the next hump (they don't have many hills there, the land is flat and goes on forever, like their voices) has by the richness in the air. So it's in my nature to observe the signs around me, even Jesus acknowledged that the farmer should be looking for the signs, to know when to sow and when to reap.

So, I say to you Happy Groundhog Day, and may you have the best one ever!!!
Happy Gardening,

Don't know what to get the gardener in your life? Try my suggestions on the left or maybe one of these.


Rainsong February 2, 2011 at 9:43 AM  

I favor Lincoln's Birthday just because that is when we put in the first peas of the season. St. Patrick is a close 2nd (first potatoes) But GH is a fun one. I was just about to post when I saw you had posted, girl you are just too much fun!
Lavender Debs in western Washington (the state) where it looks like there will be shadows.

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