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Sunday, February 2, 2014

Punxsutawney Predicament

Does the groundhog have to make eye-contact and acknowledge the presence of his shadow, or is the mere fact that he is casting one enough to activate our nation’s six-week forecast?

“I already listened to the song on Starfall to prepare for the big event,” Mia announced last Friday, as we drove to her dad’s house for her weekend visit. It took me a few moments to realize she meant Groundhog’s Day, especially since she’s been on this Presidents’ Day jag for the last month or so. (Who can forget Honest Ape?)

“I’m so ready for springtime,” she continued. “Can we watch the news on Sunday to find out?”

Thank goodness she’d still be at her dad’s for the big announcement—the entire groundhog phenomenon just messes with my head.

Am I the only one who finds Groundhog’s Day to be extremely confusing?

Oh, sure, it seems straightforward—
If he sees his shadow, it means one thing.
If he doesn’t, it means something else.

But it’s easy to confuse the two, especially since (and this has taken considerable research and verification from many questionable authorities) the seeing/not-seeing is counter-intuitive.

From a logical perspective, “seeing his shadow” should mean that spring is on the way. After all, you can only cast an organic, natural shadow with the presence of sunlight.

(Incidentally, I think all the news cameras and artificial lighting directed toward poor Punxsutawney Phil may skew the results, too, but we’ll let that go for now…)

Presence of sunlight is symbolic of nice weather. Spring should be on the way!
Lack of shadow is usually due to one of two things: overcast weather or night.
Overcast skies tends to be symbolic of yucky weather.
Ergo, more winter.

Apparently, that is not the way it works. Sources say it has something to do with the groundhog seeing his shadow, getting spooked, freaking out, and hibernating for another six weeks.

Somehow, this renews my respect toward the predictions of The Weather Channel. Although if there’s a conspiracy to be had in this entire hubbub, I suspect they have something to do with it.

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