“Winter, slumbering in the open air, wears on his smiling face a dream of spring.”

Today is even warmer than yesterday. It is already 44˚. I need to get outside for a while as this will be the warmest day of the week, and I don’t want to miss it. Maybe my trusty canine and I need to hit the road.

The sun is hidden behind the clouds, but the day is bright and gives me a bit of hope that old Sol will decide to make an appearance. I looked up the temperature in Bolgatanga today to give myself a little perspective. It will be the coolest day of the week at 90˚. Most of the rest of the week will be between 100˚ and 104˚. Days like that are not among my fondest memories.

Today is Groundhog Day. Phil emerged at 7:28 a.m. and predicted six more weeks of winter, no surprise there, but there is hope. The National Climatic Data Center in Asheville, N.C., stated that Phil’s forecasts are, on average, inaccurate. According to the center, “The groundhog has shown no talent for predicting the arrival of spring, especially in recent years. Phil’s competitor groundhogs across the nation fared no better.” I think, though, that even meteorologists and the National Climatic Data Center with all their computers and weather models have their share of poor forecasting. They always apologize and blame the vagaries of wind and strange fronts, but wrong they were regardless. Mrs. G., the Massachusetts state groundhog, has, unlike Phil, predicted an early spring. I’m going with her.

I swear the male gold finches are getting brighter. A green shoot, albeit a tiny green shoot, has appeared in my front garden. These are the first tangible signs spring is coming. We just have to survive February which I always think of it as the last winter month. I know March can be cold and even snowy, but to me it is early spring as my garden starts to come alive and drags me along with it.

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22 Comments on ““Winter, slumbering in the open air, wears on his smiling face a dream of spring.””

  1. olof1 Says:

    The sun, or Solen as we call it, showed up for several hours here today. We reached just above 32F and the snow started to melt awa prtty good, especially where the sun reached. It will be a bit warmer most of the coming days but I doubt it will last for very long. I can only hope.

    We don’t have groundhogs up here and no other animal will predict our weather either 🙂 But I did hear spring songs from somne birds and the Blackj Woodpecker made some drom rolls too. A bit early fior both but it gave me hope of a warmer future 🙂

    Have a great day!

    • katry Says:

      We have very little snow left. It has been melting for three days, and what’s left looks ugly.

      Our groundhogs are just big rodents who really can’t predict the weather either, but it is a tradition started a long while ago, in the late 1880’s. I have the same hope as you do!

      Enjoy your evening!

  2. Caryn Says:

    Hi Kat,
    My predictions were correct. Phil always sees his shadow anyway. Ms G doesn’t have much of a track record but there was no sun this morning so odds were she would not see her shadow.
    As I said yesterday, spring is still 6 weeks away regardless of who sees what. 🙂

    I heard a robin making tentative territorial song the other day, It was really cold but sunny. Perhaps he was practicing. There have been a few happy blue jays oody-ooping as well. I have not smelled any skunks and I haven’t been down back to check on the skunk cabbage. Those are two very early signs of spring.

    It’s 51º here. Rocky and I sat out on the front steps this morning and we saw all his summer-time dog friends. Everyone was out taking the air for probably the first time since Christmas. It was nice.

    Enjoy the day.

    • katry Says:

      Hi Caryn,
      I am going with Mrs. G. simply because the idea of six more weeks of winter doesn’t thrill me though I know it is probably. I’ll be optimistic!

      I heard the birds just a short time ago. It is warm enough for the front door to be opened so Gracie can keep an eye on the neighborhood. When I stood with her, I could hear the birds.

      I don’t know what it is now, but we, as spring approaches, will be colder than you unlike winter when we tend to be warmer. We are usually three weeks behind you at the start of spring.

      Have a great warmish day!

  3. Bob Says:

    Who appointed that ground hog in Pennsylvania to be the predictor of winter weather in North America or anywhere? It’s just so much ground hogwash. Of course it’s all just plain old fun and has no scientific basis. I think the members of the club have to wear top hats when old Phil makes his or her yearly appearance.

    How is the humidity in Bolgatanga? I can take the high heat when the air is dry as it usually is here and in Arizona in the summer. When I was in Dubai in late May a couple of years ago the heat, 100+ (42C), was unbearable because the humidity was at least 150%. It was like Houston weather on steroids. Florida has high humidity but it rarely gets that hot.

    Tonight we find out if the Broncos’ great quarterback, one of Archie Manning’s kids, can beat the NFL’s number one defense. I have to go with defense every time, but basically I don’t give a hoot. I hoped for a blizzard because anyone who chose an outdoor stadium to play football in mid winter in the Northeast should be given the ‘Biggest Dumb Ass trophy’ imaginable. Of course it doesn’t matter because the Super Bowl is all about money and has nothing to do with the players or the fans. If it weren’t for the great commercials I wouldn’t even watch the game.

    Bring on the most expensive Olympic games in History. The entire Sochi games were corrupt from before the day Sochi was announced until the last venue is completed. Billions and billions of dollars have disappeared probably into the pockets of Putin’s buddies. The only winter Olympic sports I even care about are hockey and ski jumping. How did cross country skiing and shooting a gun become an Olympic sport? Why is figure skating a sport?

    • katry Says:

      There are groundhogs all over predicting the weather, but Phil, many Phils, have been around since 1887. The rest are groundhogs come lately. Of course it is hogwash, we all know that, but as you said, it is just in fun. Maybe it’s a way to get our minds off winter.

      I don’t give a hoot either, but I don’t dare tell my Colorado family that. They are really excited and have all the right foods for football. No matter who is in the Super Bowl they always make it an occasion.

      Luckily it is a warmish day in Jersey. I have no idea why they chose an outdoor venue in the northeast of all places. I do enjoy watching games in snow.

      Russia is corrupt and all the corruption surrounding the games is not unexpected. This will be the most expensive games. The paper had a huge article about how three of the hotels for reporters are unfinished and others don’t have water. Low bidders were not considered unless they had friends in high places.

      I like figure skating, and it is a sport needing balance and grace and skill. Cross country skiing dates back to the first winter games. It is one of seven winter sports that have been contested at every Winter Game. I like many of the sports and will watch each night.

      • Bob Says:

        I will give you the figure skating since they have synchronized swimming and synchronized diving in the summer games. If you study Russian history nothing much has changed. They went from the terrible Czars to the bad Commissars and now just bad everything. No wonder drinking Vodka is the national pastime.

      • katry Says:

        I was in Russia in the early 70’s. Goods were difficult to come by unless you had hard currency. There were lines everywhere for things like toilet paper. The Russian joke was see a line, get in the line.

        I’m not big on synchronized swimming or synchronized diving though I did watch them both.

  4. Birgit Says:

    48˚F and sunny blue sky today 🙂
    The outdoor flea market was well-attended, we all needed some sun after so many grey days.
    We neither have groundhogs nor other weather predicting animals over here (as far as I know). Just an octopus named Paul (RIP), who could predict soccer results. In this country soccer is more important than weather 😉

    • katry Says:

      We did have a blue sky for an hour or so but we’re back too cloudy and dark.

      Nothing outside this time of year. There are farmers’ markets still but inside. Last weekend I went to a craft, produce fair.

      Weather is the main topic of conversation around here. Soccer wouldn’t even make the list in this part of the country though it might in the west where it is really popular with leagues for kids as young as 3.

      No replacement for Paul?

  5. Minicapt Says:

    1. On Friday, we had more than a dozen robins running a nominating convention in the backyard cherry tree.
    2. The filbert tree is promising a bumper crop this summer.
    3. There are four daffodil buds in the front bed. Unfortunately both the crocuses and the snowdrops are less advanced.


    • katry Says:


      Your dafs are quite far ahead of mine. My snowdrops usually appear first so I shall continue to check the front garden for those tiny green shoots. The arrival of yours gives me hope.

      The birds were here in full force today including a pair of cardinals and a downy woodpecker.

      The trees are still bare branches without the hint of a bud. We won’t see them until late March, maybe. The ocean gives us the most wonderful autumn but that same ocean causes us to skip spring until maybe May.

  6. Bob Says:

    Although it ain’t over until the fat lady sings, there may be no joy in Denver unless a miracle occurs in the fourth quarter. Ops, at the end of the third quarter she may have just sang with a 36 to zero score.

    • katry Says:

      This is humiliating for the Broncos. If I were Peyton, I’d wear a mask on the field so no one recognizes me. I don’t dare call my family in Colorado as they might think I was making fun of the Broncos which I would be.

      Well, at least they have now scored a TD and even a 2 point conversion.

      • Bob Says:

        In football defense always beats offense. Seattle had the best defense all year and they put on a show tonight. Maybe Peyton should think about calling it quits even though the loss was not his fault.

      • katry Says:

        Peyton will make too much money, set a new league record and was named the MVP this year so calling it quits isn’t in the cards.

  7. Bill S. Says:

    Hi Kat:
    We went to our International House reunion near Durham on Saturday, meeting up with about thirty of our former friends and classmates. We spent the night with two of those friends in Durham, home of UNH and where they have lived for thirty years. On Sunday we drove to the seacoast, from Hampton to Portsmouth, and witnessed part of a Penguin Plunge for Special Olympics. The theme this year was zombies, so participants were dressed to kill (ha-ha). We also went to a Fair Trade shop in Portsmouth, where Peg tried to get the manager interested in Bolga Baskets. She was not, but we had better luck selling to our friends at the reunion. Returned home last night.

    The next time we go to Durham, we plan on walking the campus and seeing all the additions and changes since 1969. Nothing stays the same….

    Peyton should give it up. Tom Brady would have done a better job.

    The weather this weekend was great for getting outside and walking, but you and we are expecting a lot of snow on Wed. 12 more weeks of winter?

    • katry Says:

      Hi Bill,
      I missed the two of you this weekend, but I’m glad the reunion was such a hit. I know Peg was planning to bring great food there too. She sure as heck brought it here.

      I went back to Merrimack about 7 or 8 years ago and was totally amazed at the changes. It was huge in comparison to my day with so many new buildings.The parking lot alone was almost bigger than the dorms had been.

      Peyton loses the big games in the post-season; he’s known for that, and last night cements his reputation. That is the biggest lost in Super Bowl history!

      Snowing now!!

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