Conditions: Mostly clear. Winds NW at 10-12 mph
Dear Mr. Groundhog,
Six weeks ago (43 days, to be exact), you predicted more winter. Here’s what our yard looked like on that day:
Here’s what it looks like today:
Having said that, however, we have a small bone to pick with you. Now, don’t misconstrue us: we don’t mean to criticize your role as an oracle or even your actual prediction. We understand that you were surrounded by the media and middle-aged men in top hats and funny suits. We hear there was a crowd there of thousands—many of whom had been toasting your prediction for several hours before arriving on the scene of your stump all boisterous and reeking of indulging humanity. There were camera flashes and rudely placed microphones and other distractions. This was no doubt a stressful situation for any quadruped, let alone a reclusive rodent like yourself. You did what you had to do, and no one can fault you for the results.
But here’s the thing: your predicted six weeks of winter are up. They concluded at midnight last Saturday, to be precise. And, as you can see in the above photos, we’re no closer to spring here in Maine than we were in February. To make matters worse, we’ve endured all kinds of wintery precipitation ranging from good old-fashioned snow to ice to freezing rain to crystalline pellets not even an Eskimo could identify (and they have dozens of words for snow). It’s a little scary around here: too slippery for the caninaturalist to skijore or walk through the woods without cutting her forelegs on the ice. We’re trapped walking the same stretch of gravel road and, I’m not going to lie: it’s getting a little boring. Meanwhile, the local deer population looks hungry, and they don’t even bother bounding away when we see them in the fields. Ari really only cares about them if they are streaking across the horizon, and lately she just seems to give them a look of empathy before moving on. To make matters worse, the snow is so high in our side yard that both the red and gray squirrels can access our birdfeeders with ease. Frankly, we think they’re looking a little obese as a result. We’re worried about their hearts. At least I am. Ari’s worried they won’t be able to run around the yard and taunt her anymore. Where’s the fun in that eventuality?
Frankly, we’re all a little weary here in the boreal forest. We did our best to embrace the extra winter. Really, we did. Most of the time, we even enjoyed it. But, Phil (may I call you Phil?), enough is enough. My calendar tells me spring began last week. I hear there are places in North America where things are growing and blooming. That really excites us. We’d like to be reminded what that looks like. Whaddya say, O Venerable Woodchuck. Maybe we could give spring a try?
Thanks for your consideration.
Kathryn and Ari