Faith Can Move Mountains... But Dynamite Works Better

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Old Man Winter Likes It Here, And Wants To Stay

"You have willingly and maliciously deceived millions of people with your vicious lies about the proper return of spring. Across the land, people are screaming for your blood. While you went and predicted an early spring in February, that early spring never came. Instead we were getting blizzards, ice storms, cold fronts. Does that sound like spring weather to you? Well, you've given us no choice, Phil. For your reckless disregard for the feelings of millions of people who wanted winter to end, and despite the wishes of a few lunatics out there who for some reason love winter, I find you guilty of fraud, and hereby sentence you to ten thousand years imprisonment on Skull Island until you learn your manners. No, that is not excessive, Phil. You should have tried to get a judge who didn't despise the word snow."  ~ transcripts of verdict and sentencing of Punxsutawney Phil by Justice Clayton "Hangman" Maddox, June 2013

My maternal grandparents had a farm for years before retirement, in a snowbelt area of southern Ontario. The nearest sizeable town was a place called Hanover, and the farm was part of a large area that in winter gets hammered by snow, influenced by Lake Huron and the high winds spreading out across the various tracts of farmland. My mother has said that if you went up there for a visit in the winter, you packed enough clothes for three or four days in case you got stuck. When my grandparents first started living there, the farmhouse was surrounded by rows of evergreen trees, which shaded the place. My father suggested cutting some of them down to let in some light. My grandfather had decided to wait and see, thinking they were there for a good reason.

And indeed they were, as they found out that first winter. The trees provided a solid wall of insulation for the house against the winds, blocking the snowdrifts that built up across the fields. Without those trees, things might have gotten a tad bit cold, even in a well heated farmhouse. While they were living there, one year towards the end of his life, my grandmother's father came over for a visit in the winter. He was used to winter ending in late February in the Netherlands-at least what passed for winter in the mild lowlands of the Dutch. One day in early April, with a snowstorm howling outside, my great-grandfather shook his head and asked, "Does the winter ever end in this country?"

We're now officially a week into spring, though it doesn't quite feel like it. We've had snow on both sides of the border, a nice trick by Mother Nature to tweak our noses (it's quite welcome to me personally, but I'm silly that way). Here in the Ottawa Valley, the first day of spring had snow, and we're still mostly buried by it. We've had blizzard conditions in the Canadian Prairies, where a passenger train was stopped for a day because of snowdrifts a few days ago, and where conditions in one area caused a pileup traffic nightmare. In the United States, the last storm resulted in snow warnings in fifteen states across a wide area. Even overseas, Great Britain is still getting snow; I've seen the pictures on a couple of British blogs I follow. And in a gag lawsuit, the groundhog Punxsutawney Phil is being sued by an attorney for his incorrect prognostications of an early spring.

Many people find themselves wondering where spring is. I'd like to say that spring and summer have been scared off by Old Man Winter, who's decided he'll just stick around the neighbourhood for a good long while. After all, there's nothing wrong with some nice, lovely snow. It's good for you. Cold air in the lungs, the crunch of fresh powder under your boots. Lovely. Lovely!

Yes, I know I'm in the minority.

And so I give you a collection of pics for your enjoyment. Herein you'll find editorial cartoons and assorted tomfoolery with spring, winter, and this peculiar inability of the spring to manifest itself. Oh, rest assured, spring will be here. Eventually. Someday. Maybe.

Assuming it didn't get stranded somewhere along the way in a snowdrift.


  1. See, we're two happy people. You are where it snows and I'm where it is 80 degrees. Than's why I favor the picture of the fox. I talked with a lady in St. Louis, MO today. They are contending with twelve inches of snow. She's more accustomed to "mild" southern winters. Didn't happen this year.

  2. You have such a sick sense of humor!!!!

    As disappointed as I am that spring has yet to show its lovely face, I feel sorry for poor Phil. It's not the little furball's fault our planet doesn't realize it's supposed to be spring!

  3. I love winter too but the Tucson kind of winter. Snow lots of snow in the mountains surrounding Tucson and sun in the valley.
    The only problem is the last four winters we have had very hard freezes sent down from YOUR land of snow that has now wiped out my citrus grove.
    Yo Canada you don't play nice ! Keep that freeze were it belongs.

    It wasn't the Groundhpgs fault. He was sleeping and some crazed man stuck his freezing hands where they shouldn't be and then said early spring. Not the groundhogs fault !
    Watson and thehamish said he could hang out with them till spring really comes.

    cheers, parsnip

  4. Oh Phil, poor guy is getting more than his fair share of blame! I have to admit, as much as I like winter, I wouldn't mind the grey going away now. However, if it did snow properly and the air crisped up properly, that would be fine! (It's the strange halfway-season thing that gets to me:)

  5. Very funny, Sir Wills.

    Hugs and chocolate,

  6. William , it 's all your bloody fault...and you know it!
    Jane x

  7. I'm allergic to hypothermia, and frostbite. I tend to break out in sudden death. Excuse me while I huddle up in my bathrobe when the mercury dips below 65 degrees here.

  8. So Fun! I think I can apply most of those to Upstate NY also. I enjoy the snow, though, so I'm kind of sad to see it go :(

  9. Even here in Florida, we're pissed at the lies. We had one day in the 80s, wooting and hollering over the warm weather, then all of a sudden, BLAM! It's 40 degrees. WTH??

  10. Good thing you like the snow! Poor Phil. Dragged out every year and forced to give his prognostication. I don't blame him for lying.

  11. Shiver, shiver, shiver... I am waiting for spring, please send spring, please send spring now... Also, @Diane, here in Vermont 40 degrees is t-shirt and shorts weather. ;-D Maybe I should move to Florida...

  12. Proves my theory, never trust a Groundhog!! But you can trust me William, I predict that by this time next week spring will be coming over the horizon with great enthusiasm, just'll see :)

  13. Why are we taking the word of a Groundhog? He's just a fatter version of a rat! I bet you regret the fact that you were born too late. You probably wish that you were alive during the Ice Age!

  14. @Mari: mild southern winters meant something very different this year!

    @Norma: Phil's innocent!

    @Parsnip: we like exporting the cold.

    @LondonLulu: it's that time of year when Mother Nature must make up her mind...

    @Shelly: thank you!

    @Jane and Chris: Of course I do!

  15. @Karla: sudden death is kind of final. And not in a good hockey way.

    @M.R.: yes, upstate New York isn't that far from these parts!

    @Diane: blame the forecasters!

    @Cheryl: Phil just wants to go back to bed.

    @Under Cover: Florida is overrated!

    @Grace: spring can stay away for another four weeks!

    @Deb: the ice age would be lovely, yes.

  16. Is that you at the BBQ? LOL I've seen some of our snow birds packing to go home to Canada but they might not be too happy about it.

  17. Okay, I'm tired of winter but I feel bad for Phil. The poor thing!

  18. Is the groundhog in witness protection yet?

  19. Some things you just have to laugh about. And this, unfortunately is one of them. I want you to know we're in the 50s here in SW Ohio and I've been working in the garden.

  20. @Eve: nonsense! that guy has hair!

    @Kelly: he was set up!

    @Scarlett and James: I hope so!

    @Christine: you're warmer then we are. We're still getting the odd flake a week plus into April...


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