Saturday, February 2, 2008

Groundhog Day

High: 33° F
Low: 15° F
Conditions: partly sunny with increasing winds.
Saturday was the 121st Groundhog Day. For the eighth time in the past 10 years, Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow and predicted six more weeks of winter. We’re big fans of spectacle, so we can’t help but appreciate an event in which thousands of people turn out to hear a proclamation made by a rodent. Groundhogs (Marmota monax) are actually part of the squirrel family. But unlike many of their bushy-tailed relatives, they spend a good part of the winter hibernating (sorry for waking you, Phil!).

Groundhog Day originated out of the medieval custom of Candlemas, which marked the halfway point of winter with the distribution of candles in European villages. Here in Maine, people still echo a colonial couplet, "Farmers should, on Candlemas Day /Have half their wood and half their hay."

We’re more gardeners than farmers, and our wood supply looks pretty good. Try as we might, we couldn’t find any groundhogs in our area either.

So, undeterred, we went in search of our own shadows instead.

First we found the shadow of Ari’s totem tree, the white birch (Betula papyrifera).

Then my favorite tree, the balsam fir (Abies balsamea):

Next, we found the shadow of Ari’s house:

And our house.

Then, at long last, we found our own shadows.

We’re not scared, Winter. Six more weeks sounds just fine to us. Bring it on!


Kapp pack said...

Wooo, me too! We must have been on the same midset today, I just posted about Phil too, but yours was much more scientific. Love the shadow pics!

Kisses, Sky boy

Khyra The Siberian Husky said...


Another g'hog post!!

BUT once again, Ari khrafted a different view of it!!!


I saw MY shadow - that means six more weeks until The Ides of March!


PeeEss: did woo see TURBO'S SHADOW?

Steve, Kat, & Wilbur said...

I'm so jealous of all your snow. I hope the six more weeks of winter brings us more snow!


sue1101 said...

I think I'd rather trust Ari than a groundhog when predicting the weather.

Dakota said...

Very nicely put. We love your pics! There's now snow here (well, a big pile of gross dirty snow by the mail box, but.....)
and you always make us feel like we're right there with you!

jan said...

I'm glad to meet other students of their dogs. They do have so much to teach us. Even those things we might not want to learn.

Marigold said...

The picture of the birch shadow is awesome! We don't have any ground hogs here. Will Mountain Beavers do?

Katherine and Pippa, said...

I just can't believe your snow pics.

Ironically lots of our Spanish neighbours have their fires burning all the time in winter - I suppose because in comparison it is cold compared with the hot summers.


PKPWV said...

^ more weeks of winter is scary for us in southern california....does that mean more rain???

Ari don't tell anyone I was napping with a cat!! Cattle Dogs shouldn't befriend and nap with cats!


Fay said...

I get confused about the groundhog's prediction. Is it if he sees his shadow we get six more weeks of winter or if he doesn't see his shadow it will be spring in six weeks? You can see how that can confuse a person.

My pack sends wags. They were out playing in the sunshine Saturday. It was about 65 degrees! :)

Loved the pics!

Gus and Louie said...

Ya six more weeks of Winter for you. It feels like Spring here. We had 80F today. Some of the trees are trying to put on buds.. Tomorrow the are predicting 30 degrees again. Texas weather is so unpredictable..

Big Sloppy Kisses
Gus and Louie

K9 Coach said...

Nice winter pics. Looks beautiful and Ari seems right at home in the snow.

Oh to be a dog and enjoy really pretty much every moment!