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Saturday, January 31, 2009


Imbolc is the Pagan festival that falls about half-way between the Winter Solstice (Yule) and the Spring Equinox (Ostara). Also known as St. Bridget's Day (Bride's Day) it is normally celebrated on 2nd February and marks the lengthening of the daylight and the first stirrings of spring. In Cumbria there are already about three hours more daylight than at the Winter Solstice.

The serpent will come from the hole
On the brown Day of Bride,
Though there should be three feet of snow
On the flat surface of the ground

Imbolc is not spring, but may be the herald of spring. Snowdrops abound, and buds start to swell. The lighting of candles and fires represents the return of warmth and the increasing power of the Sun over the coming months.

Clusters of snowdrops in a churchyard near Askam-in-Furness, Cumbria

One of my daffodils bravely peeps out from its bud, taking its chances with the forecast of further snow

Buds on rose bushes begin to open, with the promise of scented evenings to come

Altostratus lenticularis hovers over the Cumbrian mountains
Imbolc 2009

Happy Imbolc Everyone!


Blogger Shrinky said...

Happy Imbolc to you too, Jim. Yes, it is heartening to see the first buds push through, isn't it? A sign winter will not last forever.

4:19 pm  
Blogger lorenzothellama said...

And a happy Imbolc to you too. Your daffodils are further advanced than mine are.

5:09 pm  
Blogger simon said...

imbolc is how i feel after too many ales!

4:31 am  
Blogger Merisi said...

Methinks those pagans are quite a partying lot! :-)

Happy Imbolc!

10:38 am  
Blogger Ellee Seymour said...

Did you take some nice snowy pics too? And happy Imbolc too.

8:47 pm  
Blogger Ellee Seymour said...

Hi Maalie, I hope you are having a wonderful time in Vienna.

9:56 pm  
Blogger Barbara Martin said...

The Pagans had the right idea all along.

5:13 am  
Blogger Ted M. Gossard said...

Beautiful photos. What lovely scenes. I love to see things bud and come out of dormancy to life, so I guess that makes me lean toward Spring as being my favorite season.

Deb loves daffodils. Really, the older I get the more I like nearly everything I see, especially the simple things.

4:14 am  
Blogger Ted M. Gossard said...

"In Bahia, Brazil, April 1832. Sublime devotion the prevalent feeling. Started early in the morning. Pleasant ride and much enjoyed the glorious woods. Bamboos 12 inches in circumference. Several sorts of tree ferns. Twiners entwining twiners — tresses like hair — beautiful lepidoptera — Silence — hosannah."

"Among the scenes which are deeply impressed on my mind, none exceed in sublimity, the primeval forests undefaced by the hand of man; whether those of Brazil, where the powers of life are predominant, or those of Tierra del Fuego, where Death and Decay prevail. Both are temples filled with the varied productions of the God of Nature. No one can stand in these solitudes unmoved, and not feel that there is more in man than the mere breath of his body."

"I see a bird which I want for food, take my gun and kill it. I do this designedly. An innocent and good man stands under a tree and is killed by a flash of lightning. Do you believe that God designedly killed this man? Many or most persons do believe this; I can't and don't. If you believe so, do you believe that when a swallow snaps up a gnat that God designed that that particular swallow should snap up that particular gnat at that particular instant? I believe that the man and the gnat are in the same predicament. Yet, I cannot persuade myself that electricity acts, that the tree grows, that the man aspires to loftiest conceptions, all from blind, brute force."

All from Charles Darwin. His 200th birthday is on Thursday, as I'm sure you know. But seems like Darwin at least had his moments when he thought that there is surely more than we can tell by science. From what he saw and experienced.

(from this program, and here is the transcript.)

1:08 pm  

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