Today marks the half way point between winter solstice and spring equinox. Wiarton Willie is our regional groundhog and his annual prediction about the end of winter is highly anticipated. Today dawned cloudy and grey and the chances of Willie seeing his shadow were most unlikely.
No shadow=early spring Shadow seen=six more weeks of winter
Truth be told, spring does not arrive here until the first or second week of April which is a good eight weeks away. Most of us would be happy with only six more weeks of winter. Wiarton is about a three hour drive north of our city and it was overcast there as well. Imagine my surprise when I heard that Willie had seen his shadow! I left for work shortly after the 8:00 AM announcement and sure enough, the sun was visible behind high clouds and cast enough light to make a faint shadow.
No one knows if cold winter weather and snow will persist past the third week of March, but it is certain that the days will continue to lengthen. I took the picture below on January 14th on the way to work and the sun was much lower in the sky. Today, at the same location, the spectacular sunrise was missing, but the sun was noticeably higher. The days have lengthened about 40 minutes in the past two and a half weeks.
Life goes by fast enough so I resist wishing winter away. We are planning a visit to Algonquin Park in a couple of weeks and nice winter weather would be most welcome. And I also look forward to Red Maple blossoms and Snowdrops by this day in April regardless of Willie's prediction.