Thursday, January 29, 2015

Goofy Groundhogs...Why We Listen To Them



Viewpoint...from the Guelph Mercury

We know there's no weight in it.  It's not scientific. Its overall and recent accuracy has been lousy!  And yet many of us will take at least a passing interest in what the prognosticator groundhog will be purporting to have told Sunday about how much winter there remains ahead of us.

The Wiarton Willies of this world ~ and there have been more than one ~ always attract some attention.
But when the rodents emerge during winters that have been unstintingly snowy, blowy and chilly, the issue of whether they immediately see their shadow garners particular interest.

Last winter contributed to scores of local collisions...influenced many injurious slips and falls...led to school closures...bus cancellations...travel nightmares...and cold-caused injuries to people and animals.
The weather people kept telling us temperatures  would be frigid...winds would make us feel colder...and we could expect some more snow.  And those predictions were correct.  Day after day!

Local media touts all the good that occurs with having a heavy winter...recharging local watersheds...keeps native and alien insect pest populations lower...and helps offer moisture for farmers' fields. This offers little consolation if February and March prove to be like January.  So again, we know there's nothing to the groundhog gig.  But we can't help but pay attention ~ just in case.

Groundhog Day ~ February 2, 2015

This date, calendared in both United States and Canada, centers on the idea of the groundhog coming out of its home to predict the weather.  Some states have adopted their own Groundhog.  Punxsutawney Phil  lives in Gobbler's Knob, Pennsylvania.  The town has had thousands of visitors over the years to experience various Groundhog Day events and activities on February 2.
Tradition has it that 'if the Groundhog sees its shadow on February 2,
it will be frightened by  it and will return to its burrow'...
indicating there will be 6 more weeks of winter.
'If it does not see its shadow...the Spring is on its way.'
Punxsutawney held its first Groundhog Day in the 1800's...the first official trek to Gobbler's Knob was made on February 2,1887. Staten Island Chuck lives in New York State; and General Beauregard Lee lives in Lilburn, Georgia.  The Groundhog is also known as a woodchuck or marmot.

Locally, Ontario has Wiarton Willie...Canada's most famous Groundhog.  Wiarton, a community of 2,300, is in the Bruce Peninsula between Lake Huron and Georgian Bay.  Each year Willie takes part in Wiarton Willie Festival...and  his job is to predict if we will have an early Spring or not. This festival is one of the largest winter events in Ontario.  Other famous Canadian Groundhogs are:  Balzoc Billy in Alberta...Brandon Bob in Manitoba...and Schubeacadie Sam in Nova Scotia.

F.Y.I.  The groundhog belongs to the same family as squirrels, gophers and chipmunks.  They eat mostly grass and other plants.  Groundhogs  raise their young and hibernate in burrows underground.

Wonderful Groundhog Day!

Over breakfast one morning, a woman said to her husband, “I'll bet you don't know what day this is?”
“Of course, I do,” he answered sharply (as if he was offended) and left for the office.

The doorbell rang at 10 am. And when his wife opened the door, she was handed a box of a dozen long-stemmed roses...which she lovingly placed in a crystal vase.
At 1 pm a foil-wrapped, two-pound box of her favourite chocolates was delivered.
Later a boutique, where she sometimes shopped, delivered a designer dress.
The woman could hardly wait for her husband to come home.

“First, the flowers...then the chocolates...and then the dress,” she exclaimed.
“I've never had a more wonderful Groundhog Day in my life!!!”

What would you get if you crossed a groundhog with a puppy???   
A Ground-dog Day!
What would you get if you crossed a groundhog with a Christmas drink???   
 A Ground-nog Day!
What would you get if  you adopted a groundhog from the Humane Society???    
A Pound-dog Day!

Enjoy Groundhog Day, Everyone!

Submitted by Merle Baird-Kerr...January 27, 2015
Comments are welcome...email to:

2 comments:

  1. SHERRIE COMMENTS: "Very cute reminder of Spring on its way
    with Mr. Groundhog."

    ReplyDelete
  2. On the occasional Winter Day, Spring exposes herself a little...as a 'teaser'. Much is dormant...awaiting the day to awaken!
    Thanks, Sherrie for your thoughts.

    ReplyDelete