winter: 6 more weeks!

Punxsutawney Phil being held aloft by his handler

I forgot about the 2nd being Groundhog Day until I saw it in a few papers today. While I don’t think they say this as much anymore, when I was a kid the folklore was that if the groundhog emerges from its burrow, is scared by its own shadow and retreats back inside–more winter. I think nowadays they just measure it by whether it’s clear or cloudy out and the shadow is seen or not. My friend BG had a good question regarding the shadow and how it’s possible for there not to be one with all the media lights.

But going back to the whole scared thing, looking at the above photo one wonders how in the heck the groundhog wouldn’t be not only scared, but traumatized by the whole experience. I wonder if his handlers and caretakers prepare him for this during the rest of the year before he’s coaxed/dragged out of the stump each February. If I recall, groundhogs aren’t naturally passive animals, so I also wonder how many displays of aggression get “edited out” of the media coverage.

And while I do like today’s brief snowfall, I am really not down with a possible 6 more weeks of this cold-weather crap. Especially after Sunday’s big tease. 😐

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6 Responses

  1. Kyle says:

    I heard the groundhog in NYC bit Mayor Bloomberg. Serves ’em right. If I were Phil and had that creature’s claws, the man in the top hat would not have been smiling.

    I love the fact that Groundhog Day’s pre-Christian roots get completely edited out of the picture these days. We are officially half-way between the start of winter and the start of spring. The “light” motif of the day comes from the fact that we can finally see that the days are getting longer, despite the fact the weather remains cold. Burning bonfires and candles were supposed to encourage the lengthening days to continue to do so.

    As for my own little clawed roommate, we basked in the glow of cable television last night. Although the little patootie refused to let me hold his paw during the scary parts of “Paranormal State” – cold comfort kitteh.

    latest entry: 2666

  2. Carly says:

    Personally, this is the shit that Peta should go after instead of the stupid crap that they do and try to make friends with all the celebrities.. 👿 Poor Groundhog.. I am not a Peta supporter either.

  3. lacochran says:

    I agree with both previous commenters. Poor groundhog. I hope he bites them all.

    latest entry: "Some girl to thrill me and then go away"–John Mellencamp

  4. Mike Licht says:

    At the time its groundhog was biting Mayor Michael Bloomberg, the Staten Island Zoo was running a Blood Drive.



  5. Lolypup says:

    So we need a Groundhog Blooper showing… However I do agree with everyone else, with modern technology, why are we still pulling groundhogs out of the ground by the neck and tossing them in the air for the tV cameras???

    Whats for anyways?

  6. Serge says:

    This is late in coming but…

    “By the power of Grayskull!”

    Sue me for insensitivity, I couldn’t resist.

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