Wednesday, February 1, 2012


Young  groundhog (woodchuck)  munching tender leaves in my mulberry tree last spring.
Groundhogs are related to squirrels and can and do climb trees!
The climb to avoid predators and at times to feed.
photo by Jonathan Schechter  June, 2011

The legend of groundhogs day claims that if the groundhog emerges from his hibernation den
and sees his shadow its a bad omen and six more weeks of winter remain.

(I have yet to understand why winter is considered bad).

Groundhogs are perhaps the worst nature forecasting creatures ever, but
 the legend has persisted for centuries and is a combination of myth, wishful thinking
and illusions of reality. Mostly illusions of reality.
Fact of the matter is clear; the Spring Equinox occurs on March 20th, but
first  we need a real winter to keep our seasons and sainity in order. 
  And I wonder how many groundhogs may not survive our lame winter this year, let alone
 make a weather forecast, for  their earthen burrows have not been hidden by or insulated with
protective blankets of snow.  Snow over burrow entrances is nature's way.
Perhaps Punsutawey Phil will fall victim to Global Warming?
That may be his shadowy message of warning this year.



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