I’m going with a new England prognostication.
by Pete Fasciano, Executive Director 02/05/2023
Well – the winter weather word hath come down from on high. That is, high atop Gobbler’s Knob in Punxsutawney, PA – where Phil rules the roost. (Or, whatever it is that groundhogs live in – nest, burrow, den, beachfront penthouse w/ocean view?) Phil says six more weeks of ugh!
Phil has a huge fan base. But, for our New England forecast, it makes sense to go to a New England groundhog. We New Englanders are big on weather. It makes sense to seek a local prognostication for Groundhog Day.
Ms G is our local Wx rodent, at Drumlin Farm in Lincoln, MA. She is ushered into an outdoor enclosure with a bit of ceremony to visit with groups of schoolchildren. Ms. G is easygoing and really enjoys the ceremony, a little attention, a few cameras on her official day.
If she gets nervous and crawls into a burrow — perhaps because she saw her shadow — humans will interpret that as her forecast for six more weeks of winter. But, if she enjoys the weather, the kiddies, and she munches on fresh veggies, it’s an early spring – as she predicts for this year. (Yess!)
Groundhog Day in the United States began in the 1700s, when German settlers in what is now Pennsylvania brought the tradition of Candlemas Day, halfway between the winter solstice and the spring equinox. In Europe, they would look to badgers for a sign of spring. Here in America there weren't a lot of badgers, but they had woodchucks (aka groundhogs) – Close enough.
How much wood would a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood? Or, how much ground would a groundhog hog if a groundhog could hog ground? Not so poetic. But, I digress.
So – I’m going with Ms G. With the temps this weekend hitting historic lows, I can say that Sp- Sp- Spr- Spring (Dang, it’s f- f- freezing!) is in the air (almost.)
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