Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Do you know what day it is?

How much wood would a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood?
A woodchuck would chuck all the wood a woodchuck could chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood.

Thanks to Rebecca Seymour for the photo of Waldo during his 2010 prognostication

But Waldo the Woodchuck would rather have a dried banana or a nut in the shell. And that sort of treat will be his reward for his official prognostication on Thurs, February 2nd - Groundhog Day. The story goes that if Groundhog Day is sunny and bright, woodchuck sees his shadow and it will scare him. He will run into his burrow and sleep 6 more weeks. That means we will have 6 more weeks of winter. Why would a woodchuck be scared of his own shadow? Well, you probably aren’t your sharpest when you first wake up in the morning – poor Groundhog has been hibernating since October, no wonder he is a little confused.

The origins of Groundhog Day probably go back to the European Christian holiday of Candlemas “For as the sun shines on Candlemas day, so far will the snow swirl in May”. German immigrants brought the idea to the Pennsylvania area. The local abundance of groundhogs that would begin rousing from hibernation in spring somehow got mixed into the tradition and Groundhog Day was born.

You may have heard of a chuck called Phil that tells the weather out east in Pennsylvania. But weather is a regional effect. When I lived in Georgia, General Lee foretold Atlanta’s weather. Here at WINC, we count on Waldo the Woodchuck and his backup Gregory the Groundhog to let us know if we will have an early spring. So here’s hoping for a cloudy February 2nd so Waldo will forecast an early spring. The earlier the spring the sooner Waldo will get the first spring dandelion leaves handpicked by his friends here at WINC so he has a little added incentive.

Guest Blogger L.R.

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