Happy Groundhog’s Day!

Groundhog, Smoky Mountains, 2012  (photo: Karla Schultz)

Groundhog, Smoky Mountains, 2012 (photo: Karla Schultz)

Whether you call it a groundhog or a woodchuck, a land-beaver or even a whistle-pig, today has become known as this mammal’s special day. Each year, I try to juggle the three ideas that cling to February 2: the groundhog fearing its shadow (or not) and serving as an indicator for the onset  of spring; the church festival of Candlemas (blessing of the candles); and the feast day of Celtic goddess-turned-Irish-saint, Brigid (or Brigit or Brighid, patron of doorways, liminal lights (dawn, twilight, or hearth-fire), and poetry). (Interestingly, she is credited with inventing the whistle–a link to the ‘whistle-pig?’)
Whatever you call it, this cross-quarter day (midway between the shadowy depths of the Winter Solstice and the equity of day and night at the Vernal Equinox) marks our human need for light of all kind, whether sunlight or insight. Or, in this case, photography (literally ‘writing with light’). Thank you, Karla! I have never seen more riveting photos of groundhogs, and I am as mesmerized by the delicate outline of the ear in profile as I am warned by the full frontal display of teeth  (do I imagine it?) bared in menace!
Groundhog, Smoky Mountains, 2012 (photo: Karla Schultz)

Groundhog, Smoky Mountains, 2012 (photo: Karla Schultz)

Stay tuned for a photo of Peanut doing his best groundhog impersonation!

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