Sunday, February 1, 2015

Groundhog Day ... And Punxsutawney Phil 2017


This is not ... Punxsutawney Phil.  This is just a run of the mill woodchuck who visited my gardens last summer and dined on my flowers.  I consider him, and others like him, a nuisance. I have other choice words I could use to describe him and his buddies  .... but, well ... I'm sure you get my drift.  And don't get me started about the deer!  They eat more greens than I do!

Where was I? Oh, yes ... Groundhog Day. No doubt many of you have heard of Pennsylvania's most famous weather predictor,Punxsutawney Phil.  But did you know that there are many other groundhogs in the weather forecasting business?  Eleven in the United States and some in Canada, Serbia, Germany, and England. And they all have this supposedly uncanny way of determining the weather.

The story goes, if the groundhog does not see his shadow on February 2nd, it will be an early spring. 
If he sees his shadow and runs back into his underground burrow ... drats!  6 more weeks of winter. 

Newsflash! Since 1887, Phil's gotten it right only 39% of the time! 



See this colorful little fella above, he's a Wooly Bear Caterpillar and many folks believe he is a better weather predictor than Phil and his friends. 

Legend has it that if the black bands are wider, it will be an extremely harsh, bitter cold, snowy winter.  If the orange bands are wider, there will be an early Spring. This past Fall, however, both bands were pretty much equal. So, it's really a toss-up for 2017. The Farmers Almanac predicts a mild, but snowy Winter for Pennsylvania.  Seems like a contradiction in terms doesn't it? Oh, well ... whatever. So far the temperatures have been milder than last year. Got to be thankful for small favors.  


Happy Groundhog's Day!

Spring is when you feel like whistling even with a shoe full of slush.
-Doug Larson




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