Posts Tagged ‘seasons’

Equinox

March 20, 2017

Equinox

March 20, 2017 marks the Equinox, when day and night are of equal length. The March Equinox is often called the Spring or Vernal Equinox in the Northern Hemisphere (where days will now get longer) and the Fall or Autumn Equinox in Southern latitudes (where days will start to shorten).

Okay, days still stay 24 hours long, it’s the periods of daylight that get longer and shorter. Come on, lighten up. The UN says March 20th is also the International Day of Happiness.

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Groundhog Day

February 2, 2017

Groundhog Day

It’s February 2nd, time to monitor Marmota monax and dream of winter’s end. Whether or not you believe in woodchuck weathermen, one thing is certain: you can’t have groundhogs if you want a backyard full of fresh garden veggies.

Groundhogs (aka woodchucks, whistlepigs, and marmots) are insecto-vegetarians and confirmed locavores. If you plan to plant this spring, harvest those hairy beasts now. Celebrate Groundhog Day with critter cuisine.

Serving suggestions:

Woodchuck au Vin

Canadian Fried Woodchuck

Groundhog Pie

Woodchuck Recipes from Michigan (Oriental Groundhog,Waco Groundhog in Sour Cream,Woodchuck Stew, Woodchuck Meat Loaf)

More groundhog lore and recipes here and here.

In his book Groundhog Day, Don Yoder reprints a classic groundhog recipe from Cooking with the Groundhog, published as a fundraiser by a hospital auxiliary in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, home of the “official” Groundhog’s Day Festival (there are more than a few others ). A Georgia groundhog is on Twitter.

Five years ago, whilst stalking the elusive picture book Geoffrey Groundhog Predicts the Weather, we espied an ad for the Range Kleen Preseasoned Cast Iron 10 Inch Fry Pan on the book’s Amazon.com page and cooked up today’s graphic. There’s obviously no “storybook ending” to this post if you’re a groundhog.

Related:

“Eight Things You Didn’t Know About Groundhogs,” Jason G. Goldman, Scientific American blog

“Groundhogs and Ground Squirrels: Winter Prognosticators,”  Sharol Nelson-Embry, Quest

“40 years of groundhog forecasts, mapped,” Kennedy Elliott and Shelly Tan, Washington Post

“Punxsutawney Phil: incompetent — or evil?” Phil Edwards, Vox

“Depressed Groundhog Sees Shadow Of Rodent He Once Was,”The Onion

“Where Did Groundhog Day Come From? ” Mental Floss

“A Short History of Groundhog Day,” Danny Lewis, Smithsonian.com

“Groundhog Day Explained,” CGP Grey (video)

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Image (“Marmot sauté, after John James Audubon”) by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

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Summer Science

July 30, 2016

The science of Summer, explained by the National Geographic Channel.

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Summer Solstice 2016

June 20, 2016

Summer Solstice
Today, on June 20, the Sun’s direct rays will reach their northernmost point, furthest from the equator, directly over the Tropic of Cancer. Folks wintering in the Southern Hemisphere call this the June or Northern Solstice. Here in the Northern Hemisphere we just call it the Summer Solstice, the first day of astronomical Summer. Northern latitudes have the longest hours of daylight.

More:

“Summer solstice 2016: Everything you need to know about the longest day of the year,” Justin Grieser, Washington Post

“The strawberry full moon makes this summer solstice a super rare thing,” Melissa Breyer, TreeHugger

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Memorial Day 2016

May 30, 2016

Memorial Day 2016
Today is Memorial Day in the United States, a holiday once known as Decoration Day, the time to remember those who fell in defense of their country.  Memorial Day is now officially observed on a Monday to form a three-day holiday weekend, and the original significance has been distilled down to a 60-second Moment of Remembrance.

But there are 259,199 more minutes to a three-day weekend, and human nature abhors a semantic vacuum, so the holiday has acquired meanings in other realms:

(more…)

Cherry Blossom Webcam

March 24, 2016

Cherry Blossom Webcam

Cherry blossoms along the Tidal Basin; that’s springtime in Washington, DC. The National Park Service says we’re entering the peak bloom phase. If you can’t get down to the Tidal Basin today, keep track of blossom progress on the Cherry Blossom Webcam.

NPS Tidal Basin cherry tree locator map

National Cherry Blossom Festival website.

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Image (“Cherry Blossom Webcam, after After Hiroshige”) by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

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Springtime Can Kill You

March 20, 2016

“Springtime Can Kill You,” written and performed by Jolie Holland. The video editor and migrating birds are uncredited.

Jolie Holland website.

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Frühlingsglaube

March 20, 2016

“Frühlingsglaube (Faith in Spring),” a poem by Johann Ludwig Uhland set to music by Franz Schubert, sung by Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, accompanied by Gerald Moore.

“Nun muß sich alles, alles wenden.
Die Welt wird schöner mit jedem Tag,
Man weiß nicht, was noch werden mag,
Das Blühen will nicht enden.
Es blüht das fernste, tiefste Tal:
Nun, armes Herz, vergiß der Qual!
Nun muß sich alles, alles wenden.”

“Now everything, everything must change.
The world becomes more beautiful with each day,
One does not know what may yet happen,
The blooming doesn’t want to end.
The farthest, deepest valley blooms:
Now, poor dear, forget the pain!
Now everything, everything must change.”

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When It’s Springtime in the Rockies

March 20, 2016

“When It’s Springtime In The Rockies,” by the Sons Of The Pioneers. The Gene Autry version is almost as goofy — he sang it in the 1937 movie of the same name.

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Frühlingslied (Spring Song)

March 20, 2016

Yes, cartoon fans, that’s what it is. “Frühlingslied (Spring Song),” from “Lieder ohne Worte (Songs Without Words)” by Felix Mendelssohn. It’s sometimes known as “Camberwell Green” after the area of South London where the composer was staying when he wrote it. Not quite sure who’s playing here.

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