Thanksgiving

The Canadian Thanksgiving is earlier than that south of the border, dates back to 1578 so it’s history is longer than theirs (the famous explorer Martin Frobisher held a formal ceremony in Newfoundland that year to celebrate getting through the year safe and moderately sound) and it’s all about gathering in the crops etc so has clear links to the European harvest festivals of great antiquity … the US substitute for Christmas (it’s so close and more widely celebrated) on the other hand appears to be centred around the survival of a band of religious nutcases who fled the old world in search of pastures new in which they could be more-fundamental-than-thou, a tradition which, despite the valiant efforts of every single American I know (cultured and literate all), still seems to hold sway in large areas.

Anyway, after that chauvinistic digression, we are once again surprised at the rapid change in seasons hereabouts. the trees have been colouring up for a couple of weeks now but it has been consistently ten or more degrees above normal and yesterday I was working in short sleeves … today, back to normal. Cold, grey skies, rain – what’s to be thankful for?

Lots of late season bird activity. The Warblers have pretty well all gone south now but the various Sparrow species are arriving to take their place and skeins of geese have been passing overhead for the past few days ready to hurl themselves on the guns of the local wildfowlers.

Anyway – whatever the reasons for Thanskgiving, it’s a day off work and an excuse for a blow-out. We can be thankful for that.

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