You may notice from the date of this post that it doesn't really match the title of the post. (Groundhog Day occurred two days ago.) But I feel I am still allowed to comment on this recent annual event.
|Punxsatawney Phil February 2, 2012 |
- photo courtesy of the Washington Post
According to folklore, if it is cloudy when the groundhog comes out of his burrow on February 2nd, then spring will come early. If it is sunny and the groundhog sees his shadow, then folklore maintains there will be six more weeks of winter.
Now, as I watched on BBC America (I could have seen the same thing on any local channel, too, but it was so very interesting to see and hear the British perspective), I noticed that with the dim light from dawn's early light, and because there were so many cameras flashing away, there wasn't any natural light to speak of. There were plenty of spotlights and flash bulbs and artificial light. OF COURSE the silly rodent could see a shadow. He saw MANY shadows! But I guess the town fathers were the ones who decided that there wasn't very much cloud cover, they could see the sun would be causing shadows so therefore - in their opinion - Punxsatawney Phil saw his shadow and there would be 6 more weeks of winter.
So, this brought another irreverent thought to mind. We here in my neck of the woods have been having a very unusual winter. The calendar says winter, we are weeks away from the spring equinox, but we are in the midst of a non-snowy, relatively warm and rainy winter (it was 60 degrees F two days in a row last week!) - when we usually have at least an inch or two of snow periodically throughout January and into February!
The irreverent thought? I don't know about six MORE weeks of winter, but maybe six more weeks for winter to ARRIVE!