02 February 2007

Happy Groundhog Day!

February has its share of worthless holidays (I'll spare you all my Valentine's Day rant for now), but I'll admit I've always had a soft spot for Groundhog Day, largely because it celebrates something totally meaningless and makes not one shred of sense. Of course there are the obvious questions of what a burrow-dwelling rodent has to do with weather prediction and why we arbitrarily rely on a groundhog from Pennsylvania, of all places, to forecast the turning of the seasons. I've also always thought that we've been reading the whole thing backwards all these years: if the groundhog sees its shadow, it must be sunny out, which seems to me to be more indicative of the onset of warmer weather than a grey sky would be. I'm probably overthinking this, but the good news is that Punxsutawney Phil didn't see his shadow this morning, so Spring should be right around the corner! Of course, any Oregonian groundhogs would disagree: our freakishly sunny stretch continued today, and any animal emerging from its burrow this morning would have been face-to-face with a particularly bold shadow. Fortunately, there are no groundhogs in Oregon (the closest we've got is another member of the genus Marmota, the Yellow-bellied Marmot), so that means Spring starts tomorrow, right?

1 comment:

Michael Bowers said...

Thank you for pointing out the backwardsness of the shadow situation and what a totally awesome holiday this is! I've always felt the same on both accounts.