Duelling Groundhogs

Groundhog Day

Nope. No groundhog here.

Groundhog Day, in my opinion, is the high point of winter. For those of you who may not be familiar with this rather bizarre North American event, on February 2 thousands of Canadians and Americans gather around a groundhog burrow to see if the groundhog can see his shadow as he exits. According to tradition, if the groundhog sees his shadow, he will return to his burrow for another six weeks, signalling another month and a half of winter, but if he doesn’t see it, he decides that spring is here and he comes out and does whatever groundhogs do when they are done hibernating. To fully appreciate this event, you have to temporarily forget about things like climatology, meterology and how cold your toes are right now.

In the part of Western North Carolina where I live, there are two “official” groundhogs: Nibbles, who has a burrow near Asheville, and about 25 miles away, Grady, who resides in Chimney Rock. Generally, they agree on their Groundhog Day predictions, but this year, because of some odd weather patterns, it was cloudy in Asheville when Nibbles came out of her burrow but sunny in Chimney Rock when Grady appeared. So Nibbles is predicting an early spring while Grady predicts another six weeks of winter. Clearly, a tie-breaker of some sort is needed. So I went for a walk looking for groundhogs and I didn’t see any at all. Could this mean that all the local groundhogs went back into their burrows to sleep for another six weeks? Maybe I was making too much noise as I walked along and I scared them off.

I guess I’ll have to just wait and see….



Filed under Nature

10 responses to “Duelling Groundhogs

  1. Crooked Tracks

    It was sunny and cold in my area today so I guess six more weeks of winter for me 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I love that field high view but that’s confusing if groundhogs disagree. I remember that movie with Bill Murray. Just as long as your alarm clock doesn’t play sonny and cher for the next however long!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ann

      Yes – I saw the movie. That Punsxutawney Phil gets all the attention: a movie contract, a spot on The Oprah Winfrey Show, even his own Wikipedia article! And his accuracy rate is only 39%!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Let´s believe it was a particularly shy groundhog, maybe the weather will agree with us. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Yesterday out in our area, it depended (like in N C) where the groundhog would have emerged, and when. So, presumably variously we’ll have lotsa winter in some places, with varying “Indian” winter/fall/spring/summer in between !~

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ann

      I didn’t know this before, but most of the Western US doesn’t have groundhogs! So, what do you do? Do you have to rely on meteorologists or does the yellow-bellied marmot substitute for groundhogs on Groundhog Day? Do you have to import groundhogs from Eastern states? Do your calendars have “Groundhog Day” printed in the February 2 box?


  5. one of my calendars does! and certain bars/places were showing the movie. uh: we do have PRAIRIE DAWGS (ever hear of those?) and other squirrely creatures which/that live in holes in the ground and not up in the trees — more out in the desert away from any collection of trees.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ann

      Prairie dogs? I think I’ve heard of them – aren’t they those bubonic plague vector animals? I think they would make OK forecasters as long as you don’t get within a flea-jump of one.

      Liked by 1 person

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