Thursday, February 2, 2012
Happy Groundhog Day!
Well, it's that time of year again, midway between Solstice and Equinox, when we turn to the weather prognosticating rodents to assess of chances of better weather. Since this part of Ontario has been spared much winter at all, it may not surprise you to learn that Wiarton Willie (technically, Wee Willie, as the original, or at least, most recent albino Wiaton Willie is desceased) and his Nova Scotia cohort Shubenacadie Sam both did not see their shadows this morning. If you believe the (wildly inaccurate*) weather prognostication of rodents, readers south of the border may be dismayed that Pennsylvania’s Punxsutawney Phil disagrees, having observed his own shadow. However, this year, thanks to the positive phase of the Arctic Oscillation much of North America has had low snow cover and warmer-than-average temperatures. So, for once, I think that there has not been much winter to speak of, and the Canadian groundhogs may actually be right.
The photo, of course, is of two copies of my a groundhog and his thermochromic shadow linocut - on Japanese kozo paper 11" by 12.5" (28 cm by 31.8 cm). The shadow on the left has been heated, and thus it disappeared. So the print itself serves as a prognosticating groundhog for Groundhog Day! If the shadow is heated above 30°C (86 F) then it turns colourless. And let's face it; if it's February 2, and your artwork is > 30°C (86 F) you either a) live in the tropics north of the equator b) live in the Southern Hemisphere or c) need to turn the thermostat down ASAP. So, there's a pretty good chance that this print can accurately predict that there will not be 6 more weeks of winter (to a degree of accuracy at least comparable to any celebrity rodent).
*Estimated at 37% accuracy