Monday, February 1, 2010

Groundhog Day

Whew! We survived a very cold, dark January. The sun is shining today but it is only 17 degrees.

Tomorrow is Groundhog Day. If it is a sunny day and he sees his shadow, he will be scared and will run back into his burrow and we will have 6 more weeks of cold, freezing, snowy, icy winter. If it is a cloudy day and he does not see his shadow, spring is just around the corner. I hope he doesn’t see his shadow. Isn’t that silly? The reality behind groundhog day is that people used to watch for small hibernating animals to come out of their burrows for a sign that spring was imminent. It has nothing to do with shadows except that a winter of sunny, cold, clear days is an indication of a weather system that blows away clouds and pulls down cold air from the north and is likely to stick around for awhile.

Have you heard all the protests about abusing groundhogs? PETA says that groundhogs are being poked out of their holes with sharp sticks roughly handled, and frightened by huge crowds and the flashing lights of cameras. They want all groundhogs that are used for Groundhog Day ceremonies replaced by robots. There is a lot of controversy about it. Check out this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AXPkHMkgTZ8 .

I hope that the groundhog in your area does not see his shadow and that we all have an early spring. Meanwhile, I will be watching for signs of spring: robins and other singing birds, budding trees, and the sight of spring blooming plants popping up.

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