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Well, It’s Groundhog Day. . .Again

February 2, 2021

When Chekhov saw the long winter, he saw a winter bleak and dark and bereft of hope. Yet we know that winter is just another step in the cycle of life. But standing here among the people of Punxsutawney and basking in the warmth of their hearths and hearts, I couldn’t imagine a better fate than a long and lustrous winter.

– Phil Conners WPBH-TV Pittsburgh (Although currently being scouted by a major network)

February 2. Why today? Tradition.

It goes back to German immigrants. They celebrated with badger. If the badger appeared and saw his shadow, it was four more weeks of winter. The badger celebration was “dachs” which I think means badger in German. In America the animal changed to “dox” meaning groundhog again in German. . . I think. (I don’t really speak German other than a little Guten tag.)

Actually, the badger makes a lot more sense as the animal to watch. They don’t hibernate during the winter. It’s perfectly reasonable to expect a badger to emerge from his hole on February 2. A groundhog, not so much. They sleep all winter. Okay, not true sleep, but they hibernate all winter and were it not for the guys in black hats and tails pulling him out of his den, he’d probably sleep another six weeks or so.

But, it kind of makes sense, I guess. I mean, really, which would you rather pull a sleepy groundhog out of its hole and hold it up for the cameras, or a badger? Yeah, me neither.

Today, Punxsutawney Phil, (the world’s oldest living groundhog, apparently) was pulled out of his hole and saw his shadow. That means six more weeks of winter. New England just got hit by a massive storm, so I guess that’s not surprising.

Here in Utah, we’ve had a light winter. We are way behind in our snow levels. We’ll take another six weeks, if those weeks are full of snow.

Oh, over the past 10 years, Punxsutawney Phil has been accurate about half the time on his predictions. I know some weather men who don’t have that good of a track record.

Stay safe

Rodney M Bliss is an author, columnist and IT Consultant. His blog updates every weekday. He lives in Pleasant Grove, UT with his lovely wife, thirteen children and grandchildren.

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