engarian (engarian) wrote,

Happy Groundhog Day

I always feel a bit sorry for the poor groundhog. It is happily ensconsed in his den hibernating the winter away and here come people grasping it around the middle, pulling it out of the warm and cozy den, and subjecting it to lights and sounds unlike anything in the normal life of a groundhog. It is no wonder that they never look very happy, indeed, three years ago one bit the person handling it, biting off the tip of a finger. Go groundhog!

Those of you in other countries are probably shaking your heads just now. What is it about groundhogs, the US and February 2nd? Well, the folk legend is that you take the groundhog out of its den on the 2nd of February to see its shadow. If it sees its shadow, we'll have six more weeks of winter. If, however, it is overcast and the shadow is not visible, winter will end earlier.

Is the groundhog a good predictor of the future atmospheric events? Not really. As a prognosticator of weather it rates lower than 40% accuracy. Not very good at all :-) Be kind to your own resident rodents today in honor of the lowly groundhog.
Tags: cultural symbolism, winter

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