groundhog day: o winter, where art thou?

‘The Falling Star’, by James Hamilton Hay, 1909, found via Crashingly Beautiful

For most of Canada, winter as we know/knew it has been cancelled, or at best is a half-hearted, wishy-washy impersonation of winter … early Spring indeed, so say Wiarton Willie & Shubenacadie Sam …!

Fact: Meteorologists say typical signs of winter have been wiped out by an “arctic oscillation,” a phenomenon that’s seen the constantly moving jet stream remain relatively stationary and keep winter conditions at bay …

welcome 2012: eyes north for peaking lights

The Northern Lights reach a zenith in 2012, as we enter this latest, and unusually strong, astronomical era of Solar Maximum. So, Aurora Borealis will be more brilliant and intense, more frequent, more vibrant and dramatic than any time in the last decade -— maybe even the last century … NASA scientists have predicted that this current Solar Maximum in 2012 will be the greatest since 1958, where the aurora stunned the people of Mexico by making an appearance on three occasions.

*Yellowknife, NWT, is a hotspot at 62 degrees latitude, since 62 degrees just happens to be directly under a dominant magnetic line of the earth’s magnetic field. Plus, Yellowknife’s night skies are usually clear, with no clouds impeding the spectacular view.

By all accounts, keep your eyes peeled on clear nights no matter the latitude, especially those farther south, for this may be your lucky year!

*UPDATE: Everybody can see the magnificent Aurora Borealis live from Yellowknife {after dusk local time} via this CSA page!

Photo, info courtesy of the Canadian Tourism Commission.

merry dancers of march …

‘Northern Lights’ woodcut, adapted from an illustration by the celebrated explorer Fridtjof Nansen, based on a sketch from 1883, found via this fascinating site

‘… while eyes in temperate climes are drawn to signs of spring beneath their feet, residents of places north look skyward for the vernal greening of a new season’ …

… an excerpt from ‘The Arctic Aurora Springs to Life’ via AccessScience

‘The Magic of the Merry Dancers’ via the remote northern isles of Orkney & Shetland …

groundhog day: shadowboxing the soul of spacetime

‘Groundhog Day’ film poster by US artist Brandon Shaefer {note the accidentally appropriate quirk: the ‘repeating’ mistake in the date; should be ‘2’, not ’12’ of Feb} … found here

‘Groundhog Day’ the film, via wiki:
‘[11] Ebert acknowledged in his “Great Movies” essay that, like many viewers, he had initially underestimated the film’s many virtues and only came to truly appreciate it through repeated viewings’ …!
‘[12] In 2009, the American literary theorist and legal scholar Stanley Fish named the film as among the ten best American films ever ‘ …!
‘[2] In 2006, the film was added to the United States National Film Registry as being deemed “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant”‘ …!
‘[16] “The spiritual power of repetitive form: Steps toward transcendence in Groundhog Day.” Suzanne Daughton, Critical Studies in Mass Communication. Annandale: Jun 1996. Vol. 13, Iss. 2; pg. 138, 17 pgs’ …!

… A wee peek into the peculiar evolution of ‘Groundhog Day‘… from ancient calendrics {Candelmas, Imbolc} to modern meteorology {La Nina/El Nino} to spiritual transcendence {Buddhism} … whew!