Monday, February 2, 2009

groundhog day... or...?

Happy Groundhog Day!!
...or not, as the case may be for those of you in cold winter climes, as it seems that the illustrious groundhog has seen his shadow and predicted another six weeks of winter. Now, for those of us in sunny Southern California, this is no dire prediction, but for you.... well, you may not be too happy with good ol' Punxsutawney Phil, the groundhog predictor of the advent of spring.

"Every February 2 since 1887, the behaviour of a groundhog – a rodent in the marmot family – called Phil has been closely observed as it emerges for the day in Punxsutawney, a small town in western Pennsylvania. On Monday the current "Phil" emerged from its burrow just after dawn in front of a 13,000-strong crowd on Gobbler's Knob, a tiny hill in the town, which is 65 miles northeast of Pittsburgh." (look at that crowd, will you!?!)
"According to German superstition, if a hibernating animal sees its shadow on this day – the Christian festival of Candlemas – winter will last another six weeks. If no shadow is seen, according to legend, spring will come early. On this occasion, the groundhog reportedly saw its shadow. Following tradition in Punxsutawney, the groundhog communicated his prediction to Bill Cooper, a top-hatted town elder who claims to be the only person in the world to speak "Groundhogese". "

"The town, which this year attracted fans of the event from Japan, Iceland and Egypt, claims Phil has always been correct. However, the US National Climate Prediction Centre said that the animal has only been right 39 per cent of the time. " (quote and above photo from The Telegraph)
In Phil's own words... (abridged version, full version here):

"And a bright sky above me
Showed my shadow beside me.
So 6 more weeks of winter it will be."
Phil's prediction was also confirmed by Michigan's "prognosticating woodchuck," Woody, who resides at the Howell Nature Center. Woody refused to even come out of her paper-mache stump, which in her language translates to 'sorry, folks-- six more weeks of winter!'
I don't know why we entrust our spring advent forecast to groundhogs, but for some reason, we Americans love it! (are we so crazy?!?) Well, since so many living in the Midwest and Eastern states are quite tired of winter already, I think, perhaps, a change may be in order...
Let's look at the situation we have here. Take a peek again at the photo above of Punxsutawney Phil. What do you notice about him? Let me give you a hint: plumpness. Alright then, let's be honest. Phil is fat. Come on;, admit it. He is a bit on the chubby side. Adorable, yes, but fat, nonetheless! Why wouldn't he see a shadow?!
So, I have a proposal... why don't we change it from Groundhog Day to Prairie Dog Day? I mean, really... have you ever seen a plump prairie dog? I didn't think so! They're slim, slender, lean and trim! Just look... we have a prime example below (photo courtesy of my friend, G):

What do you think the odds are of this prime prairie dog specimen seeing HIS shadow?! Much slimmer (ha!) than Phil, I would say! So, perhaps... just maybe... it's time for a change...

Let's hear it for Prairie Dog Diggery!! Three cheers for Prairie Dog Diggery!! (Come on, all you Midwesterners and East-Coasters!)

* * * * * * * *

Sheldon Carr, an engineer from Newburg, Wisconsin, was unable to explain the appeal of Groundhog Day, especially to non-Americans. "There's no reason," he said. "No one understands the Yanks." (quoted from The Telegraph)

(ah, we ARE a special breed, are we not!?!)


  1. It was sixty degrees here over the weekend. Then Phil was jerked from his hole and saw his shadow. This morning I woke up and found about six inches of snow on the ground.

    I hate that groundhog.

  2. Thanks for the good laugh this morning.

    Here, here! If the woodchuck can get in on the action, then by all means, let's make way for the prairie dog. They're way cuter and their upright stance would cast the perfect shadow.

    btw, enjoying 65 degrees in this neck of the woods

  3. poor, billy! :) i LOVE that story!!

    thanks for popping in, angie! i must admit i got a laugh while i was posting the pictures for this one... that ground hog is so chubby!! :)


I'm so glad you've stopped by! I love hearing from you and can't wait to read your comments! Let me know what's on your mind and your heart today...