“The groundhog, or woodchuck, is one of 14 species of marmots. These rodents live a feast-or-famine lifestyle and gorge themselves all summer to build up plentiful reserves of fat. After the first frost, they retreat to their underground burrows and snooze until spring, drawing their sustenance from body fat. (Maybe they have it all figured out? Eat eat eat, hide, dissolve the fat and reappear!) While hibernating, the animal’s heart rate plunges, and its body temperature is not much warmer than the temperature inside its burrow.
Groundhog hibernation gave rise to the popular American custom of Groundhog Day, held on the second of February every year. Tradition dictates that if a groundhog sees its shadow that day, there will be six more weeks of winter, though such a prediction seems a sure bet over much of the groundhog’s North American range.
In the spring, females welcome a litter of perhaps a half-dozen newborns, which stay with their mother for several months.
Groundhogs are the largest members of the squirrel family. Though they are usually seen on the ground, they can climb trees and are also capable swimmers. These rodents frequent the areas where woodlands meet open spaces, like fields, roads, or streams. Here they eat grasses and plants as well as fruits and tree bark. Groundhogs are the bane of many a gardener. They can decimate a plot while voraciously feeding during the summer and fall seasons.” –Info from National Geographic- Groundhog…. click here
Sunday mornings I often have a small argument with myself, there are three parts to this “conversations.” The first part is: I am most likely lying in bed, snug and comfortable, and since it’s winter the outside is cold and my bed is warm. Leaving it seems silly. The second part is from my body: It is often just plain old tired and going back to sleep is pretty much always tempting. The third part is my mind: You see, the ideal, and the goal is, to get up, get moving, and go to Sunday morning yoga class. The mind says: Go- you will be glad you did…Go-it is always a good idea to go to yoga …Go-you will learn something new, whether it be a corrected pose or a thought. … Go- it’s exercise and stretching, and especially in the winter it’s important to keep the body moving! … Go-you love it when you do. Go-you feel better after class/practice. Go-its self kindness. Im glad to say the mind usually wins these days, and I do get up and go!
This past Sunday my teacher brought up a topic she has mentioned a few times lately. It’s the wisdom of an open palm. Birdelini and I love this and keep thinking about it. Read on and we think you will too.
Lets try something. Stop reading for about 30 seconds and make two tight fists. Clamp your hands as hard as you can. Breathe in and out. Hold another bit. Now think about that for a moment. It doesn’t feel very good, your muscles tend to tense up, you may have even scrunched up your face muscles. Did you feel the tension that came with that? Thats a fist that lets nothing in! Now, just put your hands out and open your palms up to the ceiling. …. Breathe in and out. Stay there another bit….Kind of amazing the difference in feelings! One is tight, controlling and stressful to hold. The other is almost relaxing! That’s the beauty of open palm living! An open palm, lets the day take its course it doesn’t need to control everything, for an open palm is open for giving and receiving. “Often we are focused on what we can get for ourselves out of the fear that if we don’t get all we can then someone else will get it and we will be missing out. We clench our fist and hold on tight. The Open Palm knows that there is much for everyone…” –http://www.balancedlifeyoga.ca/the-wisdom-of-an-open-palm-finding-balance/. Open palm living lets it “be” – ebbing and flowing, giving and taking in an open manner.
Birdelini and I continue in our yoga practice….we’re loving the open palm thoughts, and trying to be open to all that comes our way. How about you?
The Botanical Beauties & Beasties have just returned from The Great White North. It was the perfect way for us to bring in 2013. We were in gorgeous Vermont and the Stunning Adirondack Mountains near Saranac Lake and Lake Placid.
We had a lot of fun, did a little snow showing, laughed and cried with friends, partook in Saranac Lake First Night, and viewed and enjoyed the local art scene. BIG NEWS– if you find yourself in Lake Placid, or need another reason to go to Lake Placid, stop in the very wonderful “The Bookstore Plus” (2491 Main Street, Lake Placid, NY 12946) and browse all the great things INCLUDING our Cards!www.thebookstoreplus.com. It is a great store, their web site says it all – “Providing personalized customer service to help our customers reach their imaginations though reading, creating or writing. Your source for the latest bestsellers and Adirondack books. We keep a wide selection of all Indie Next List and New York Times bestsellers. Come in to see what is new on both of these great lists! We have an extensive collection of Adirondack titles and often have signed copies as well.” The owners are delightful, the shop is a joy, and you get to support a 2nd generation, family owned and operated local independent book store, read, write and draw…How can you not love that! ( …and by the way they will ship for free on orders over $50 right now!)
Well, back to winter wonderland…the trees are majestic, the mountains are strong, our friends are “tried and true” and we love them all. The Adirondack Park weather makes Vermont feel like it is sunny Florida! What ever it is in Burlington VT ( which is pretty far and up there in VT, yes, like almost Canada) you can count on it being colder and snowier across the lake! When we came back “home” across and had a grand time in our old stomping grounds it was practically balmy in comparison! However, we love them both, the landscape is soothing, the meeting of the mountains and the lakes never stops amazing.
The USA has had some “real” winter weather these past few days/weeks. Here in MA, we have missed much of it…but Botaniumus is enjoying a lovely soft snow. Since it is the land of magic the snow there is no problems for cars or folks trying to get anywhere. It just creates a peaceful and beautiful scene with reflected light and nature.