Non-Profit Internet Source for News, Events, History, & Culture of Northern Frederick & Carroll County Md./Southern Adams County Pa.


February 2018

"The groundhog is like most prophets;
it makes its prediction and then disappears."
Bill Vaughn (1947- )

Mid-Atlantic Weather Watch: Snow, heavy in the southern part of the region (1, 2, 3); fair and very cold (4, 5, 6) turning windy and cold, with lake-effect snow (7, 8). More snow, mainly in the south (9, 10, 11); fair and cold (12, 13, 14, 15, 16) with more snow in the south (17, 18). Fair and not as cold (19, 20, 21) with showers in the south (22, 23). The month ends with fair and cold weather (24, 25, 26, 27, 28).

Full Moon: In 2018, February will have no Full Moon, This is not so rare and in fact, the same thing happened in 1999 and 1980. And more recently, in 2014, February had no new moon. How can this occur? The orbit of the Moon around the Earth is slightly elliptical. When the Moon is at perigee (closest to Earth), it moves faster than it does at apogee (farthest from Earth). The Moon’s phases occur 90 degrees apart in the orbit as seen from Earth. Consequently, the time between successive phases can vary anywhere from five to nine days.

Since February is a shorter month, if apogee occurs close to the middle of the month, there will only be three phases during that month if there was a phase within a day or two of the end of January. Note that this is not a universal phenomenon. Other parts of the world could have a full complement of phases in a February while we have only three phases. For example, suppose that London, England has a phase at 2:00 AM on February 1, which means that London will definitely have four phases in February. But because of different time zones, that same phase occurs in New York City at 10 PM on January 31, which means that New York will most likely have only three phases in February, depending on when apogee occurs.

Special Notes: "Punxsutawney Phil" makes his much-anticipated appearance on Friday, February 2nd in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania to make his annual ‘prediction’ of the coming of Spring. It will be determined by this little marmota monax’s reaction to the day’s weather. If it is sunny and he sees his shadow, he will retreat underground for another 6 weeks of Winter! If it is cloudy and he doesn’t get scared by his own shadow, Spring will come early in 2018.

Holidays: Celebrate the Christian Festival of Lights, or Candelmas, on Friday, February 2nd It is on this day that many churches that traditionally light more candles than usual during their daily services. The additional light not only made the day special but it was also believed that the additional light would provide protection from illness and plague in the coming year. Valentine’s Day, February 14th, falls on Wednesday in 2018. Plan something special for that special someone who is a special part for your life. February 14th is also Ash Wednesday, which begins the season of Lent. The birthdays of Abraham Lincoln (Monday, February 12th) and George Washington (Thursday, the 22nd) are collectively celebrated on President’s Day which falls on Monday, February 19th to provide us with an extended holiday weekend. Enjoy!

The Garden: In the event of snow, be sure to shake or brush off the white stuff from the branches of your evergreens and shrubs. Continue feeding our feathered friends. You will want them to stick around to provide natural insect control when the weather warms again.

J. Gruber’s Thought For Today’s Living

"A life without purpose or goal is a wasted opportunity to perform wonderful deeds"

Index of Past Month's Entries