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 .....................