Sugar Season!

About this time of year the maple trees around New England become festooned in bright tubing. It isn’t as romantic as the old-timey, hanging-bucket pictures on all the syrup bottles, but it’s much easier to maintain and keep clean. The trees are tapped (meaning a small hole is drilled down to the inner bark) and… Continue reading Sugar Season!

St Matthew’s Day

If Matthew finds ice, he breaks it. If he doesn’t break it, he makes it all the harder. St Matthias with his ice breaker... If there is sharp frost on Matthew’s Day, it will last till March. The fox is hesitant to walk on ice after St Matthias has passed. Matthias breaks winter’s back. Sap… Continue reading St Matthew’s Day

A Benediction for Lupercalia

Today is Lupercalia. This is one of the oldest festivals in EuroWestern culture and, in fact, likely predates the Euro-bits. As with most ancient things, this holy time is a dense web of themes that don’t all mesh together well, but somehow make a lovely tapestry when viewed from a certain remove. Falling within the… Continue reading A Benediction for Lupercalia

Of Hearts and Wolves

Like many people, I find the American version of Valentine’s Day and the saccharine and monochromatic view of love it promotes to be repulsive. In my younger days I assumed the whole farce was invented by the greeting card and gifting industry, along with the rise of all manner of fake holidays intended to get… Continue reading Of Hearts and Wolves

Parentalia

As February marks the last month in the ancient Roman calendar, the Romans spent their time setting themselves in accord with the world. The 9-day festival of Parentalia begins on 13 February and culminates in the day of Feralia, which began at sundown on the 21st. Parentalia was a sacred time to commune with the… Continue reading Parentalia

Simple Living Style v Simply Life

It is that difficult period of winter-into-spring. It is assuredly not spring weather out there. As I write this, there is a four foot deep mound of snow all along the side of my path and it’s 8°F as the dusk gathers. That’s -13°C for the rest of the world. The forecasted low is -12°F,… Continue reading Simple Living Style v Simply Life

Candlemas: Spring Forecast

If Candlemas be bright and clear there'll be two winters in the year. — traditional adage from Scotland There are many weather marking days throughout the year. Candlemas, falling on 2 February, was the day that our ancestors began to get nervous about the spring. A fine Candlemas portends a bad harvest and winter dearth;… Continue reading Candlemas: Spring Forecast

Of Hearts and Wolves

Like many people, I find the American version of Valentine’s Day and the saccharine and monochromatic view of love it promotes to be repulsive. In my younger days I assumed the whole farce was invented by the greeting card and gifting industry, along with the rise of all manner of fake holidays intended to get… Continue reading Of Hearts and Wolves

Of Candles and Divinatory Beasts

If Candlemas be bright and clear there'll be two winters in the year. — traditional adage from Scotland There are many weather marking days throughout the year. Candlemas, falling on 2 February, was the day that our ancestors began to get nervous about the spring. A fine Candlemas portends a bad harvest and winter dearth;… Continue reading Of Candles and Divinatory Beasts