Wednesday, 6 February 2013

Signs of Spring? End of an Era?

February 2 was Groundhog Day. According to legend, if a groundhog emerges from its burrow on Groundhog Day and sees its shadow, there will be six more weeks of winter.

The Huffington Post reported:

"Pennsylvania's Punxsutawney Phil didn't see his shadow, predicting early spring."
In Canada,
"Wiarton Willie, Canada's leading rodent prognosticator, also predicted an early spring" but
"Nova Scotia’s Shubenacadie Sam did see his shadow, so maybe some of us shouldn't put the parkas and winter boots away just yet."

The rabbit above was a bit shy, staying well within cover, and no shadow. But, definitely a shadow here, but this was in January:

We did have some sunshine and then some fog here on Ground Hog Day, so if there were ground hogs they may or may not have seen a shadow. No matter the days are getting longer and there are some signs of spring appearing.

These next pictures have shadows but are no indicator of whether the weather will improve sooner or later, since these lovelies are inside.

These were taken a few weeks ago, but there is still no shortage of activity at the backyard feeders:

But something is disappearing!

You no doubt are familiar with the statement "if a tree falls in the forest and no one hears it does it make a noise?"

The penny, the one cent Canadian coin, is disappearing; did it cast a shadow or make a noise as it fell?

CBC News:
"The penny's days are numbered in Canada, as the Royal Canadian Mint has made its final one-cent coin.
Federal Finance Minister Jim Flaherty and other government officials took part in a ceremonial coin strike Friday at the mint's coin production facility in Winnipeg, to mark the end of production of the penny.
"The humble one-cent circulation coin was a workhorse of Canadian commerce," Flaherty said, recalling the penny's introduction over 100 years ago. "Unfortunately…over time inflation eroded the purchasing power of the penny and multiplied its manufacturing cost.
The Royal Canadian Mint has stopped distribution of pennies, which means businesses will no longer receive rolls of copper coins from the bank.
And for customers, today marks the first day retailers are encouraged to round to the nearest nickel, though some may still accept pennies.
If it's a cash transaction and the total is $1.01 or $1.02, the retailer will round down. But if it's $1.03 or $1.04, it will be rounded up to the nearest 0.05.
Electronic transactions will not be affected by the disappearance of the penny.
This change has been coming since March 29, 2012, when federal Finance Minister Jim Flaherty announced his government would phase out the penny.
Each penny cost the government 1.6 cents to produce, so Ottawa expects to save $11 million per year. The last Canadian penny was minted May 4, 2012."

The last pennies were minted in 2012, so these are some of them. Google had a picture of a 2013 penny on their web page, I guess they didn't look that up on Google??

From the "Globe and Mail" newspaper:
"Why is the penny being phased out?
Fifteen Canadians complained last year that having a lot of pennies was tearing their pants pockets. That’s pretty much it. Oh, and our penny-making machine is broken.
Where can I bring my pennies for redemption?
Six hundred penny-redemption hangars have been erected at strategic locations across Canada. Please seal each unwanted penny in a labelled envelope and take a number. We’ll be right with you."
Hey,  this is serious stuff!

Does this mean the end of penny candy; oh wait that's been gone for a long time.

What happens to sayings like "a penny for your thoughts", "penny wise and pound foolish" and "a penny saved is a penny earned".

What will penny pinchers pinch now?

Will "Penny" be told to change her name?

What do we put in "penny loafers" now?

These questions are weighing on my mind, I think I'll hang on to the rest of my pennies for a while yet.

I was busy setting up my art show at Pane E Formaggio this week so didn't really get anything finished. I'll have something for next week.

Thanks for dropping by, happy Whimsy Wednesday, until next time .....................


  1. The penny topic has been on my mind, too. With Google’s help how can any Canadian miss it? Interesting observation about the 2013 date though … perhaps they mint these coins a year in advance? Although they do get weighty in our pockets and are supposedly getting too costly to make, I have a fondness of sorts for the lowly one-cent coin.

  2. i'm guessing now that canada as done it, the us will follow suit. it is such a part of our history and 'myths'. i picked up 2 pennies in different places just the other day - both heads up - to bring me luck. :)

  3. I will keep some of the older copper pennies as a collection. They are rather handy for keeping flowers fresh for a few days longer in a vase. They are great for a bee sting, holding a real old original copper penny on the sting till it dissipates. I am sure we can find many uses for it still. Good post!

  4. A very interesting post. Australia did away with one cent coins some time ago. I wonder if in years to come we will date out memories by the coinage we remember using? I remember in pre-decimal days the penny was big! Rather like a UK penny - or what they used to be, I have no idea if they are still big like that. Even further back when I was very young we had hapennies (half pennies) - and my mum kept a few farthings from her younger days.

  5. One and two cent coins disappeared in Australia in 1992 and it seems the five cent coin's days are numbered too. It makes sense really, they are somewhat bulky and rarely "needed". Rounding totals to the nearest 5 or 10 cent is vary easy. The strange thing is we still see many prices like $2.97 or $8.99 which always need rounding.

  6. Poor old penny, gone but unforgotten. I love your rabbits.

  7. I have never seen any "brown money" in Australia - the cent coins had been phased out before I arrived.

    The only ones I have found, I have dug up in the garden - a kind of modern treasure.


    Stewart M - Melbourne

  8. your orchids are so pretty and the same color as mine!!

    do you really think we should let a rodent forecast the weather??

  9. It does seem like an era passing with the end of the penny, although we still have them in the U.S. Great shots of the rabbits birds and orchid. The penny is also photogenic.

  10. Good laugh at the penny...sigh I will miss it though.

    And I am not a big fan of rounding...but what can we do.


  11. I've missed your great blog, but I just haven't had time to get around to other blogs (I'll try to be better!). Interesting photos, as always, and great commentary. Have a terrific weekend. Mickie :)

  12. It will seem strange to not have pennies in my wallet, but I'll get used to it. I suppose the nickel will be the next to go. Lovely photos of the orchids!

  13. “A penny is a lot of money, if you have not got a penny.”
    Yiddish Proverb

  14. Very enjoyable photos and post. Yes, the poor penny, on its way out.

  15. I am thinking we will be right behind you here in the states. You had me smiling with all your thoughts on pennies.


  16. Your penny questions made me laugh. Funny that you noticed that Google showed a 2013 penny on their page that day. I never would have caught that. Fun photos and post. Thanks for that.

  17. I think it's sad about the penny, and will miss it when it happens here. Love your thoughts and info on it here.
    Your orchids are beautiful!

  18. What lovely shots - looks nice and sunny over there.