Wednesday, 2 February 2011

February Creative ... that unusual month ...

Today is Candlemas, Groundhog Day or Jannie the First day – see my post last year ... this time I thought I’d concentrate on February – who would have thought we could be creative with the month of February .. but it has some fun facts ...

There wasn’t a month of February, nor January, the Romans originally considered winter a “monthless period” .... I think a great many of us would agree with that thought in this year of topsy-turvy weather ... they only named ten months.
February, from the Très riches heures du Duc de Berry

Some ancient Roman obviously realised there was a moon, and decided that they could count to twelve – so they added two months with February becoming the end of the year – this was before 700 BC. They named February after the Latin term ‘februum’, which means purification.

Due to the seasonal variations, February was truncated to 23 or 24 days, with an additional 27 day month (intercalary) and at some stage in the next 300 years January was dedicated as the first month of the year, with February becoming the second.
Bust of Caesar from the Naples National Archaeological Museum

Julius Caesar introduced the Julian calendar in 46 BC offering regularity, so that Roman citizens living outside Rome would know the current date – helpful: I thought! The intercalary month was abolished, leap years occurred regularly every fourth year and in leap years February gained its 29th day.

The Gregorian calendar eventually superseded the Julian one, so that the solar year, which determines the cycle of the seasons was realigned, as the leap year drops three leap year days across four centuries and mathematics had improved so these calculations could be made.

The Gregorian calendar, introduced by Pope Gregory XIII, via a papal bull, on 24 February 1582, is now universally accepted – the last two countries to formally adopt it were Russia and Greece ... both in the last century.

This year being a common year – and as February 1st was on a Tuesday, the months of March and November will commence on a Tuesday, and should it have been a leap year .. this would apply to August too. February ends on the same day of the week as October every year, and January in Common years.

It is the only month that can pass without a single full moon – known as a “Black Moon” month.

The Anglo Saxons called February the “Sprout Kale” (cabbage) month or Solmonath ‘Mud Month,’ while in Finland it is known as the “month of the pearl”, when the snow melts on the tree branches, it forms droplets, and as these freeze again – they are like pearls of ice.

Curly Kale

February’s symbols consist of its birth-flower the Violet in Britain (while it’s the Primrose in the States) – the symbolism dates back to Roman times when the Gods were honoured by decorating their altars with flowers.
Viola odorata (type species)

There is an old verse which gives the flowers connected with the Christian year, and starts:

“The snowdrop, in purest white arraie,
First rears her head on Candlemas daie;
While the Crocus hastens to the shrine
Of Primrose love on St Valentine ..”

To comment on the weather is more than I care to do at the moment, the whole world seems to be in the grip of some strange winds, rains, snowstorms ... I seem to remember that the months were fairly predictable ... ie November – mists and trees losing their leaves, December – gloomy .. lightened by the fact Christmas was a-coming, January and February – positively freezing: this year it’s now relatively mild, but last November and December we were ‘frozen out’. Yet – Australia is getting is more than its fair share of weather-wrath; while there’s still snow-storms in the States.
Winter Landscape with a Bird Trap, 1565, Pieter Bruegel the Elder

Linnaeus in his Flower Calendar in the year 1755 in Uppsala, Sweden differs from other calendars as he divides and describes the growing year ... calling winter time the ‘Reviving winter month from December 22 to March 19” (from the Winter Solstice to the Vernal Equinox) – he made a few jottings:

“- Butter shrinks and separates from the sides of the tub.
- Ice on the Lake begins to crack.
- Wooden walls snap in the night. Cold frequently extreme at this time, the greatest
observed was 1755-1757 (now known as during the period of the Little Ice Age)
- Horse dung spirts.”

The last sentence is followed by a note which says” that horse dung, in very severe frosts, throws out particles near a foot high, and that no other dung does the like, and we are full of joy that spring is round the corner and the horse dung is spirting.”

And finally Mark Twain (1835 – 1910) advises that “February is one of the peculiarly dangerous months to speculate in stocks. The others are July, January, September, April, November, May, March, June, December, August and October”!
Pearls .. could be ice-drops

So the month of February, which rhymes with ‘bleary’, ‘topiary’, various berries, statuary ... and more – has lots to offer in the way of creative information .. including the few pictures I’ve posted by artists I’ve never heard of .. another way of learning new things. Also reminding us of the Little Ice Age.... two – four hundred years ago ..., that Australia had only just been discovered in 1606, and that horse dung spirts!

Roll on Spring I say – real Spring ... longer daylight hours, warmer weather, some settled days ... then we must take each and every minute and enjoy that time .. before the extra long ‘Reviving Winter Month’ comes around again – go away first, please!
An oaked white wine from Stellenbosch produced from Chenin Blanc.

One very last thing .. I’m very grateful to Mynheer Jan van Riebeeck, the founder of Cape Town, who on this day in 1659 produced the first bottle of South African wine.
Last year’s post: Ground Hog Day, Candlemas and Jannie

Dear Mr Postman – my mother seems really quite well at the moment, talking at times quite happily, other times enjoying my company in quiet peace ... she enjoyed a little of the Australian Open tennis ... a change!

Hilary Melton-Butcher
Positive Letters Inspirational Stories


... Paige said...

haha, I did an ATC swap based on this day and it's theme. love the info & thoughts that you provoke (awaken) in your post...I feel a poem coming on

warmness to you

Joanne said...

It's surprising that the last two countries to adopt the Gregorian calendar did so only last century. I'd have thought it would have been long before that. Time, which seems to move so quickly, sometimes does not!

And interesting fact about the Black Moon. I'm familiar with the blue moon, but hadn't heard of the Black Moon. Do you know if that'll happen this year, or when the next one will occur?

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Paige ... well it's certainly the love month, but sitting in a bath, eating chocolate cake surrounded by soapy bubbles and then having my picture taken - I know I need a new avatar picture .. but that will not be it!!

Ah ah .. well if I've inspired a poem .. that's great - we need some inspiration in this weather we're having.

Have a fun filled loving month .. cheers Hilary

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Joanne .. yes – I was surprised to read about the late adoption ... probably in and around the first World War I’d guess. Quite right .. at times Time is apparently slow.

The Black Moon - oddly enough last year! The next one is Feb 2018 ... According to Wikipedia “Can only occur in February, thus January and March will each have a second full moon (a calendrical blue moon).”

And on that note – I leave you to read about the calendrical blue moon .. it gets somewhat complicated!!

Thanks for making me find out about the Black Moon!! Now I know ... enjoy the rest of the week .. cheers Hilary


A most enjoyable read and so well written, Thanks for sharing this.


Arlee Bird said...

Once again you have dug up some fascinating information that most of us have never heard. The Twain quote is great--as he usually is.

Tossing It Out and the Blogging From A to Z April Challenge 2011

Karen Jones Gowen said...

You are amazing. That's all I can say. Your mind is a hotbed of vast information. February has always been my least favorite month. Only this year I'm fine with it, because January was my least favorite. And our weather isn't too bad, knock on wood.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Yvonne .. good to see you here .. and thanks for your thoughts - it's fun finding out different things about life .. happy Thursday .. Hilary

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Arlee .. I forgot one! The first Sunday in February there's a church service to remember Joe Grimaldi (the greatest clown ever) - clowns come from all over the world in full 'garb' apparently.

Glad you enjoyed the Twain quote .. it seemed a fun one! Good to see you - Hilary

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Karen .. thank you - the brain certainly is full of ideas and then some. Just as we think the year is improving February comes along - and continues with the gloom .. though the bulbs are popping up.

We're warmer here - but gales forecast for the north of England .. so like you I'll knock on wood - that warmth and light are really on their way! Cheers Hilary


Hi Hilary, many thanks for your visit and comments, Yes I remember Out of Africa, I know the film industry will miss John Barry,

I think you have the most hilarious sense of humour, loved the remark about Elton, My style of blog is to try and match a song to whatever I have written about and Elton's song to me was perfect.
If we all had the same taste in music or books life indeed would be dull. Thanks for giving me a good laugh first thing this morning.

Have a lovely day.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Yvonne .. I popped over to see what I'd written to find both comments have vanished into thin air .. something was happening this end with Google .. & I switched off for 2 hours, while I did a couple of things and see my Mama. Still not there .. oh well .. you had fun obviously - it must be the British tie in .. I'm hopeless with music - so it was a good thing I guessed right?!

You too - we've got your sun now perhaps you're sending more our way up the coast?! Cheers - Hilary


Hi Thanks for your message, I moderated them early this morning then sent you a message of thanks.
I did have trouble with the internet for a while yesterday but it righted it'self, Yes Elton is still playing until I put another poem on.
The sun is shinning here also and it isn't so cold as yesterday so perhaps spring is on the way,


Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Yvonne .. they did pop up finally about 20 minutes later .. so all catching its tail I guess!

You're right and it isn't as cold as yesterday .. and I spotted some 'autumn crocuses' in the lawn - they don't look like the spring ones - but I'm waiting to see what pops up .. as this is a new flat I'm renting pro-tem. Lovely sunny south facing aspect .. so when the sun does shine - it's warming!

Cheers .. see you soon - Hilary

T. Powell Coltrin said...


Yes, I too am ready for spring...longer days...more sunshine.

A very interesting post. Mark Twain's (Missouri guy) advice to not speculate on stock during February is very interesting too. I had never heard that.

I like to watch Tennis too. Give your mom a hug for me.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Teresa .. it's been relatively balmy today .. warming sun, not too cold - still need to be wrapped up!!

Did you spot the rest of the Mark Twain quote .. I had to laugh!!

We managed to watch a bit .. and I will give her a hug - she's always amazed at the messages .. our Healing Therapist is up there this pm .. I'll be back this evening with one of my brothers to meet the new manager - so Mum will have extra visits today .. fast asleep this morning.

Thanks for the visit and comment Teresa .. always appreciated - Hilary

Southpaw said...

So before the groundhog we had horse dung.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Holly .. you make a good point - but I suspect we'll never know - Linnaeus only pointed out that horse dung spirted in the mini Ice Age .. which came first .. the little ground hog, or the horse & its dung ..

Fun thought though .. and I can't help but think of the ground hog hanging on to the edge of the American continent as it drifted away from Europe?!

Cheers Hilary

LTM said...

horse dung... LOL! you guys. What an interesting collection, Hil! Thanks, and have a super weekend~ :o) xoxo

Glynis Jolly said...


Such an informative post! I think I like the idea of violets for February despite the fact that I live in the states.

(Glad to hear that your mother is doing well.)

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Leigh .. couldn't resist putting that in .. so delighted you appreciated it. Lots of info re February .. let alone all the days themselves .. glad you enjoyed it.

You too have a great weekend with the family et al .. I'll be across soon ... cheers Hil xoxoxo

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Glynis .. thank you - just a few February facts .. but that violet picture is gorgeous .. actually I could do a whole post on candied violets ..

Surely you have violets over there?! I'd have thought ..

Yes - Mum is fine and very sharp at times .. thanks for the thought .. enjoy tomorrow and the weekend & I'll be by fairly soon! Cheers Hilary

janice h said...

The odd and wonderful things on your blog always seem to stick in my head because of the way you juxtapose them! It's Chinese New Year today, so that's something I enjoy when it falls in February; another chance to start over and be true to myself. (My Chinese sign is very accurate.) I also love Groundhog Day, because of the film. Whether the wee cratur predicts an early spring or not, just hearing the words Groundhog Day makes me feel everything will turn out alright, if I just persevere, practise more compassion and friendliness and follow my heart.

Snowbrush said...

You're really done your homework here. Thanks for all the good information.

vered said...

February is normally my least favorite month - it always feels like an "in-between" kind of month if you know what I mean. But this post gave me an entirely new perspective!

Anonymous said...

Hello Hilary :-)

Groundhog Day gets a lot of media attention here in the USA. I think they make a big deal out of it so they can sell T-shirts and make a lot of money.

I wonder if groundhogs are good to eat? Maybe with a few grilled sardines on the side they might be pretty good? :-)

Take care and have a great weekend :-)


Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Janice .. how lovely to see you back. I almost put in things about the Chinese and Japanese flowers and February .. but decided too much!

Interesting - I'd have said that Chinese New Year always falls in February .. I shall watch more carefully in future.

Groundhog Day .. - sure is an odd custom .. I haven't seen the film - but it sounds like one of those crazy ones - full of laughs .. what we need in February.

I'm sure things will turn out alright - both of us have just had not such brilliant years - but they're behind us.

You remind me of Janice, our Healer Therapist, who is very compassionate, and caring .. and aware of others so much ..

I just love your words .. "if I just persevere, practise more compassion and friendliness and follow my heart." - we understand and we are here .. and will always be with you .. look after yourself and have a great weekend .. Hilary

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Snow - thanks for coming by - it's good of you to leave such a nice comment and I'm glad you enjoyed it. Have a good weekend .. Hilary

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Vered .. January and February are birthday months for us .. so plenty going on - but golly when it's cold and gloomy it's all a bit much - so I can understand your sentiment .. much as Romans did!!

Great - now you can look for horse dung spirting!! Enjoy the rest of February .. remembering the oddities of its historical life.

Cheers and have a lovely weekend with the family - Hilary

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hello Ron :-) (I hope that sign is friendly .. otherwise I've shot myself in the foot?!)

All 'holidays' seem to be ways for people to latch onto and flog something for some $$$ - same with cards ..

Me too - & I'll keep wondering, if you don't mind .. probably like a rat and that can stay there too .. but the grilled sardines I'll keep!! Love the thought ..

You and Mrs G too .. have a fun time at the weekend .. Hilary

Mandy Allen said...

If Candlemas Day be fair and bright
Winter will have another fight.
If Candlemas Day brings cloud and rain,
Winter won't come again.

If Candlemas Day be dry and fair,
The half o the winter's to come and mair;
If Candlemas Day be wet and foul,
The half o the winter's gane at Yule.

I love singing the Candlemas service - and did you know the Queen always leaves the decs up at Sandringham til Candlemas?

Great post, Hilary.

Enjoy the journey.


Jannie Funster said...

That's why I've been feeling so pure since January has been over! I'm purified.

I wonder what a papal bull is? The one saved for the Pope's finest steaks?

Pearls of ice on branches are SO nice! I miss them from Canadaland.

Okay, I WON'T buy any new stocks or suggest Jim to this month. Or any other!! :)

It'll be spring before you know it!!


and from BB ooxx

Amy @ Soul Dipper said...

February is my month of birth - and the lowly violet holds a special place in my heart! However, Hilary, I am fascinated by the Horse Dung spirits. I thought I knew anything of peculiarity about horses, but you have introduced a new one! I hope I can see some on videos on the good ol' Internet.

I shall take special care with my investments...that was sweet!

TALON said...

What fascinating February facts, Hilary. I'm so glad you're mother is doing so well! That must make February even brighter and better :)

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Mandy .. thanks for typing up the poem .. I remember this .. but I wonder now how true it is - when I was growing up .. I'd say it was true .... but after the year we've had with snow in November .. the weather is a little strange!

Weather-lore must be true for the expectations to have stayed in use for hundreds of years. Good point - thanks Mandy.

I didn't know the Queen left her decorations up til Candlemas .. I left Mum's up last year!! once I'd found the excuse - it was easy!! Cheers January up no end .. having halls of decorated green around. Sensible lady!!

Delighted you added the weather-lore poem .. have a good weekend .. Hilary

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Jannie .. yup - January has gone and you can rest of your laurels of purity!! No .. get baubling ...

Good idea for a papal bull - leave it out to grass. It's one of those parchment scroll like things with long words full of sentences we mere peasants cannot remotely understand decreeeeeeing that we should do this or that ...

Ah Canadaland .. pearls sprinkled everywhere .. a really good snow with pearl encrusted and decorated branches look so glorious, especially with the sun dancing rainbows off them.

Gales here today .. but still 'warm' .. and fortunately the bulbs tell me Spring is springing .. cheers for tomorrow and xoxoxo to you and the BB manigemints xoxoxo

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Amy .. ah another February girl .. have a great time when it arrives. I took a little violet in one year for my Mama .. but she said it wouldn't last and it didn't .. still it was good to see!

Horse dung spirts (not spirits) .. there's a difference .. I guess it's bubbles of ? bursting forth - which Linnaeus called 'spirts'. So I hope you haven't spent the last x hours looking on YouTube .. nothing there I suspect!!!!!???

I'm sure you do know all there is about horses and spirits ... !

Investments .. watch out - as Mr Twain says .. thanks Amy good to see you - have a great weekend .. Hiilary

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Talon .. thanks and glad you enjoyed it .. yes Mum seems to be as content as possible .. February is definitely looking easier! Cheers and enjoy the weekend .. Hilary

Barbara Swafford said...

Hi Hilary,

Again you posted information which I had no clue about. Like there used to be ten months, not 12. And Australia was discovered in 1606.

At this time of the year, I'm enjoying how the days are getting longer. It reminds me Spring is just around the corner. :)

((Hugs)) to you and your Mum. It's nice to hear she's doing well.


Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Halloo Barbara .. lovely you're here .. well you know me - add a little trivial knowledge from our past in .. reminds us where we came from.

Thanks for the hugs for Mum .. we're peaceful and that's the main thing .. and Spring is coming - wonderful!!

Enjoy the weekend .. cheers xoxo Hilary

Talli Roland said...

Fascinating as always, Hilary! I had no idea the Romans didn't have actual months in the winter season. I can see why... it goes on forever! :)

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Talli .. thanks - nor me - we learn new things every day. Well at least it's not snowing ..but it's certainly been a long old winter this year ..

Enjoy the weekend .. cheers Hilary

Sara said...

Hilary -- I had to look up papal bull because I thought you had made a typo. I should have known better...still the idea of delivering something by papal bull makes me giggle for how I envision this...a bull dressed all in red delivering the news:~)

I really appreciated everything you taught me about February. I really enjoyed the part about the horse dung. That made laugh.

Thanks for very entertaining history of the month of February:~)

Janet Johnson said...

So interesting about the months and days of the week and the moon! I never knew that. February is a pretty unique month. :)

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Sara .. I hope I explained it reasonably in my reply to Jannie .. but yes - when our imagination wanders mine gets worse here .. but your papal bull being dressed red delivering the news conjures up wonderful pictures.

Thanks - February was more interesting than I thought - lots of ideas there .. but I agree the horse dung had to have a write up!

Glad you enjoyed it - and hope you're feeling a little better - look after yourself over the weekend .. cheers and love Hilary

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Janet .. how lovely to see you - and glad you enjoyed the info re days and moon - or lack of sometimes.

Cheers as you say February is unique .. Hilary

Karen Lange said...

Wow, what great info! February was my late grandmother's birth month, so it was always special to me for that reason. :) Still cannot help but think of her often, even though she's been gone 9 years. Thanks for the info and for bringing good memories to mind!
Happy weekend,

Meredith said...

Ah, Hilary, an enjoyable read, as always. You write so engagingly.

Our weather has been very rough this year, with F. and I getting stuck in separate small towns for three days while overwhelmed Southerners scrambled to clear the roads of snow, and then ice.

I must say, I'm charmed by the Romans' initial decision not to even look for months in the winter. There's a why-bother, hibernating-style avoidance of reality here that I can recognize vestiges of in myself at this time of year. ;)

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Karen .. yes my grandmother's too - though she died many years ago .. I still think of those times. The winter months weren't great for travelling to Cornwall .. so we probably didn't see her too often on her birthday once we'd started going to school. As you say the memory joggers are good aren't they .. you too have a happy weekend... Hilary

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Meredith .. gosh you two have been having a tough time .. stuck away from home.

I love your take on the Romans' decision re the seasons and months .. perhaps they felt there weren't any Gods worth having months named after them in winter?!

Certainly during the last few years - I could easily become a groundhog and see the winter away warm and cozy underground .. putting my nose out to see when sufficient warmth had returned before I ventured forth!!

Have a great weekend .. Hilary said...

Yes our Primroses don't really come out until later in the year so that might explain why Violet is the UK flower for February. It is interesting how dates and seasons are revised according to society's views. :O)

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Madeleine .. they don't come out til later do they .. perhaps the flower goes back to Rome .. and it comes out earlier down there?! The violet is such a wonderful little plant, overlooked so often.

You're right as time goes on - things change - great thought .. thanks - Hilary

klahanie said...

Hi Hilary,
What an incredible amount of information you pack into your highly informative posting.
And of course, 'Groundhog Day' is a major tradition in the USA and Canada. Now made even more famous by the movie of the same name. Where Groundhog Day happens over and over..
And of course, 'Groundhog Day' is a major tradition in the USA and Canada. Now made even more famous by the movie of the same name. Where Groundhog Day happens over and over..
Sorry about that. Fascinating February facts and in fairness, Britain should have a formal 'Hedgehog Day' :-)
Take very good care of yourself.
In kindness, Gary.

Anonymous said...

Hilary, as usual you have the most interesting posts. Some people file this information under mindless trivia but I find it absolutely fascinating. Its fun to understand the evolution of something over the centuries.

Accurate calendars were essential to the ancients for the survival to ensure the planted and harvested their crops in a timely manner and thus avoid an entire village of starvation.

I did not know February and October end on the same day of the week. Very interesting.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Gary .. thank you - I like tying things together! but very glad you enjoy it ...

No worries .. re the carbon copy! Groundhog Day certainly resonates in America ... especially since the film was made - which I've never seen.

You're right Hedgehog Day .. would be a good one .. and a fun way of highlighting one of our special animals .. they don't have them on the American continent.

Have a good weekend and thanks for coming over .. all the best - Hilary

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Stephen .. great to see you - like you I love this sort of information .. and exactly that to understand how things have evolved and happened over time.

The sun and the moon ruled for centuries regulating our own body rhythms as well as nature itself .. the wise men must have been revered having that knowledge and being able to predict things ensuring the community's welfare: as you point out.

We don't remember things so much - as it's always there on paper, publicly displayed .. so those little snippets of information we don't need .. but I find fun.

Have a good weekend .. cheers Hilary

Sibyl - alternaview said...

Hilary: I have to admit this is one of my favorite posts of yours because it is about my birthday month :) It is always so fascinating to learn so much about the month you were born, but honestly I hadn't taken the time that was necessary and do some research on the month. I really appreciated all of this information you shared. Great post.

Kathryn Magendie said...

Oh poor February - my birth month!

February gets no respect! By February, everyone is SICK of the winter, craving spring . . . oh February!

Keith Davis said...

Hi Hilary
February - the coldest month of the year but the month that makes me start looking forward to... SPRING!
This year I can't wait.
Been so cold.

So much info in this post Hilary but set out in an interesting and entertaining way.

Notice you mention...
"An oaked white wine from Stellenbosch produced from Chenin Blanc."
Which reminds me, time to have a glass myself.

Have a relaxing Sunday evening and talk to you soon.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Sibyl .. another February birthday .. lots and lots of bloggers?! I'm January ..

But it was so interesting to learn so much - I agree .. and it's good to remember our roots back in history.

So you'll have lots of 'trivial' information to pass on when your birthday comes up - if it hasn't happened yet...

Happy Birthday Sibyl .. and so pleased you appreciated your birthday month info pack!! Cheers Hilary

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Oh Kat! I am sorry .. I know - I'm in January and I honestly think that's worse .. at least the bulbs are pushing through now, it may be cold .. and more cold may be due - and the Super Bowl maybe blanketed in snow .. but Spring is round the corner!!

Happy Birthday for whenever the happy day comes along .. enjoy a celebration or two .. all that music your brothers can make for you and the surprise video? Cheers and enjoy - it will get warmer soon!! - Hilary

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Keith .. February can be pretty cold can't it .. but we are looking forward to Spring - the leaves are budding, the catkins are out .. and certainly the drifts of snowdrops are drifting, while the daffs are raising their straight arrow heads - won't it be great when it really arrives!!

Thanks Keith - delighted you enjoyed it ..

I do mention the oaked white wine - produced on Candlemas Day - 352 years ago!! Yes - might get myself a glass, now you mention it ..

Enjoy the week .. and talk soon .. cheers Hilary

Connie Arnold said...

Thanks for sharing all the interesting facts about February, Hilary. It has always been one of my least favorite months. I am quite ready for spring.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Connie .. I think unfortunately we all feel the same way .. just simply cannot wait for Spring! I hope it's drawing nearer for your .. here we're relatively mild and the days are lengthening .. have a good week - Hilary

Theresa Milstein said...

On Groundhog day we had a snow day. I'm having a hard time believing we'll have an early spring after the way this winter has been behaving.

My kids spent the day in the snow and watching the movie "Groundhog Day".

Have a wonderful week, Hilary!

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Theresa .. your weather in the States seems to have been extraordinary .. even snow down in Dallas. Here the north of the country seems to have the worst of it .. and they've got more rain and snow now. We're ok .. down here .. like you I'll be interested to see what the statisticians say about our Spring etc .. - it seems it will be early here ..

Great fun - playing in the snow and then watching Groundhog Day .. sounds a fun family day ..

You too - have a great week .. cheers Hilary

Deborah Ann said...

February is my least favorite month. but you have put some fun into it, and given me hope for the spring that is approaching. Also...that South African wine looks quite tempting!

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Deborah .. seems to be everyone's .. even those with birthdays in it! But it is gloomy and grey .. and you're right a glass of South African Chardonnay does seem rather a good idea ...

Cheers and enjoy when you get yours .. thanks for coming by .. Hilary

Davina Haisell said...

What a delightful post Hilary, horse dung and all. :-)

I'd never heard of February being known as the “Black Moon” month. Though if I'd taken the time to consider the moon's phases and the number of days in February, I would have come to that realization. This was the better route. You've given February a makeover in my eyes.

It's always been one of the hardest months for me because Spring is my favourite season and living in Vancouver, February is the bridge to cross into Spring.

Loved this post. :)

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Thanks Davina .. horse dung - amused me/us!!

February certainly looks different in my eyes now .. and I loved finding out how it came into existence .. considering they were just winterless times .. some how as we wait for Spring - that's a good term. We have black moon months often I think .. just thick cloud for days on end!!

Vancouver in the Spring must be glorious - and then you can get out to your islands and do your hikes again ..

Delighted you enjoyed it .. I, of course, can't stop thinking about your bacon and eggs, but I'd better have a 'comma' break .. cheers - Hilary

Patricia said...

We always have a week of freezing cold sunshine in February, which I believe came in January this year. This was very interesting indeed.

I always have trouble with March here because it so often brings back more stormy dark days and the days are longer, so often the first blooms are destroyed - dashing spirits.

Glad to hear your mum is doing well - this is good Thank you for sharing.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Patricia .. the seasons are really odd and I glanced at a weather article on the last two years - but thought I'd keep it for next year!! Ready to go post! Well so far .. ready set newspaper still ....

Weird things can happen with the weather .. and especially for you sitting on the edge of the Pacific I guess .. and you're right so much gets weathered out .. but nature is amazing it picks itself up.

Mum is fine I'm pleased to say - we tick on .. and I am looking forward to the year ahead with its lighter days amongst other things. Look after yourself .. Hilary

Jannie Funster said...

Ahhhhh, THAT kind of bull!

I see says Jannie who has today picked, washed and set to dry the last of the stones for the centerpiece pots. A good day! Even popped in on some blogs to comment. Kelly at het gymnastics, then home for bitrhday cake!!


Blue Bunny said...

deerist my hilree, I loves this februarry month. and guess wot? I seen my own shaddow on griundhogg day! On my jannies wall.

well back to hanging bobbles for the senterpeeses!!

Wit loves to all.




Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Ah yes .. that kind of bull!! I spotted you around the blogosphere .. but you've got lots going on - birthdays to prepare .. & lease send choccy cake through!

The centre pieces look superb and certainly will attract loads of attention at the Gala ..

Bet Kelly will enjoy the birthday cake when she gets back from her backflips, and pommel horse .. am sure it was great fun .. cheers Hilary xoxoxox

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi BB .. well no-one .. you get to eat cake .. and seeriusli dids u sees ur own shaddow on de 2nd .. cud b a goodly spring. Gud to kno ..

Ok .. back to works .. the bobbles look great .. Kelly's inspirachunal hanging looked fun ..

Sleeps tite now you've had your choccy birthday cake .. with loves back from Hardwick, Mum and I .. xoxoxox

Liara Covert said...

Every moment is another opportunity to move beyond the perception of history and remember how it feels to live and focus on the present.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Liara .. that's so important not to dwell on the past and remember life is now, being present with ourselves. Good to be reminded - thank you - Hilary