Thursday 3 February 2011

Help, I overslept Groundhog Day!
Now, don't you tell me
you don't remember me!

Once upon a time,
I had my own personal groundhog.

We passed each other frequently
at the intersection of Democracy Boulevard
and Seven Locks Road,
Zip code 20854.

He would sit by the road, on the Cabin John Creek side,
and give me a regal wave with his right paw.
I wonder if anybody has seen him lately.
Today, perchance, on Groundhog Day?

There is no Groundhog Day in Vienna.
Austrian groundhogs prefer to live the high life,
- high as in high in the Alps -
and not a single one of them would be silly enough
to dig himself up through something like ten feet of snow
to check his shadow on the second day of February.
They rather brew themselves another pot of coffee or tea,
and wait for April showers to wash away the whole white mess.

There being no Groundhogs in Vienna,
therefore no Groundhog Day,
I had to invent my own little weather forecast game:
How about counting cakes instead,
I said to myself when I spotted a little merry-go-round,
ferrying cakes, round and round and round:
If the number of cakes passing is an even one,
winter will soon end!

If on the other hand,
the number is an uneven one
I shall go in and eat that culprit,
to make sure that winter will not continue
for six more weeks!
I was ecstatic about my ingenuity:
I felt like Don Quixote,
ready to saddle Rosinante attack
windmills with my Dulcinea sword cake fork.

A rather dizzying task,
as it turned out:
Those pesky cakes sped by so fast,
I had hardly time to push the shutter release button,
let alone count!
I must confess,
I failed. I failed the quest!

I forgot to count,
absorbed as I was to get ahold of a picture
of each of the cakes to document their number.

The cakes
passed by,

and passed

and again!
I was so exhausted from not-counting,
I could not even recall anymore
whether an even number meant
seven more weeks of winter
or instant spring!

I do miss the good old days
with my Very Own Groundhog:
A look and a light wave of my hand
was all it took back then.

Photographed at:
Aida Café Bognergasse, the snowballs;
and all those cakes, at
Café Weinwurm, Stephansplatz 11,
in the shadow of St. Stephen's Cathedral!


Images and Text
first published 2009
© by Merisi


  1. What a wonderful way to count days to spring ! Good idea:
    In Italy the second of february is Candelora Day, a light day, we light a candle in windows and we have the same adage: Candelora se piove e tira vento dell'inverno siamo fora, ma se sole, solicello nell'inverno saim nel bello ( if it's raining it'll be spring in hurry, but if it's sunny it'll be cold ). It's strange but people even far has the same wisdom.Sorry, I'm boring but......
    good photos, you are very observant

  2. In England we had bright sunshine in the morning and rain and vicious gales in the evening!
    A wonderfully imaginative post Merisi!

    And of course to the Pagans 2nd February is the Festival if Imbolc!

  3. How could I ever forget you. And I have something for you!

  4. Oh what a yummy post. Fabulous cakes - I can almost taste them.

  5. Looks so good! Little piece of art really.

  6. wooow these cakes are jewels !

  7. Hello Dear Merisi!
    Thank you so much for your kind words during your visit the other day!

    I think it is a good idea that the media did not hear about your personal groundhog on Democracy Blvd. Think of the traffic issues that could have caused! Just for silliness, I did watch the 12-minute long video of the festivities online! The little groundhog is so cute! I just can't believe he hasn't bitten anyone for waking him up every year!!! At least his prediction this year was a good one!! Wonderful idea of yours with the cakes, though! Too bad they are just so hypnotic!!!

    Wishing you a great weekend!


  8. I suppose that you had to eat one, just to be fair (but which? they are all so tempting)...Really clever, Merisi--thanks!

  9. Ten feet of snow!
    I wish you warmer days soon...

  10. Adri,
    thank you for this interesting story!
    From my Roman days, I only remember that day as the day of the blessing of the candles in church.
    In Austria, it is the last day of Christmastime and the last day to take Christmas trees down and in churche crèche are being stowed away (these days, most people take the tree down by January 6).

    Wandring Star,
    oh yes, Pagans know how to celebrate! ;-)

    Sweet! :)

    Loree, Thilda, NYStyle and Cannoli,
    thank you each and every one!

    The Gossamer Tearoom,
    that groundhog really sat there regularly at that interesection. Strange as it may sound, I miss him!
    I am going to call my friend in P today, to look for my groundhog when she passes that intersection!
    You stay warm and safe, the weather is not too friendly with the Midwest and up and down the East coast.

  11. ds,
    I hate to admit it, but I did not eat any of those delicious looking temptations. Poetic license is not always a priviledge ;-)

    your good wishes have helped bringing warmer air masses to the Danube's shore, thank you! :-)

  12. So did you eat one - and if so, which one ;)

  13. Ah, such delectable delights! Oh, to have just one forkful...

  14. Wonderful post, Merisi! My little groundhogs are living under the barn in a hole that has been occupied since we've been here -- but no one's ever waved. I'm jealous!


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