Spring is in the air …

At the beginning of February, when the earth appears frozen and lifeless, there are stirrings below the surface and above us in the sky. The light is returning; today there is nearly an hour more daylight than there was on the Winter Solstice.

Mid-January through mid-February is when the Great Horned Owls start breeding and nesting. While the rest of us look out at the wintry landscape here in North Central Blogistan and wait for spring, the owls are already beginning their nesting year.

(Don’t forget to hover …)

The mother Great Horned Owl will sit on her eggs for about a month. The newly born owlets will stay in the nest for about 6 weeks (until around the Spring Equinox), then move to nearby branches where they start the serious business of learning how to fly. By Summer Solstice, they will be competent flyers and will learn to hunt and fend for themselves although they often stay with their parents until fall.

The pagan holiday of Imbolc is celebrated between January 30th and February 2nd. This cross-quarter marks the mid-point between Winter Solstice and the Spring Equinox and with it comes the promise of the light and more: the stirrings of life that remind us of the cycle of the earth.

We should start preparing ourselves for spring physically and mentally. Life will get busier and this may be one of our last chances to contemplate what we want for the new cycle. Goals for personal growth, new beginnings, dreams for the future and connections to one another.

To all my pagan friends, Blessed Imbolc! And to everyone, may the light find you and bring you the warmth of the early spring and the promise of new beginnings.


  1. Love this—thanks, Jan! The photos are great and so is the reminder that the Earth is stirring beneath Her blanket of snow.

    This has always been one of my favorite sabbats. Thanks for letting us know that owl is well!

    • Owl is indeed well! :)

      In the early morning, I can hear the owls in the wetlands behind my house. They may be nesting now because they are much quieter but they were very active in the middle of January.

      With an early spring in store (predicted by ground hogs here and in Pennsylvania and New York), it won’t be long before we see the crocuses.

  2. I love listening to Lisa Thiel and learning about the cycle of the earth. Thank you.

    Emma K is in my thoughts this morning as today is her 98th birthday. The family in Kennewick will take roses to her grave site and all of us will keep her close in our hearts.

  3. Easy to see the light coming back when you’ve got solar panels – a full sunny day end of Dec-early Jan produced 8 KWHs of electricity. Yesterday I got 10.5. And a goofy (but well-protected) vinca vine in my back yard has a flower. Happy Imbolc – or Candlemass to those that minded.

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