Ground hogs as pets, I don’t think so. Nevertheless, February 2 is Ground Hog Day as well as my brother’s birthday (happy birthday bro!).
If you lived in the desert or warmer climes your whole life, the significance of Ground Hog Day* might just be a crazy movie starring Bill Murray. Having lived my informative years in the Midwest, we’d wake up demanding to know if the ground hog did indeed see his shadow. As to the real scientific significance of whether he sees his shadow and whether or not there will indeed be six more weeks of winter is a real toss-up at least in my skeptical brain.
And really who is keeping score?
The Punxsutawney Groundhog Club is keeping score and claims that Punxsutawney Phil has correctly predicted the weather every time but the U.S. National Climatic Data Center (NCDC) has estimated that Phil is only correct about 40 percent of the time. We need some bi-partisan buy-in here.
And who really cares?
Well, I guess if you live on the East coast, the Midwest, or the heartland, you probably want winter to end sooner vs. later. Here as desert dwellers, I’d like to find a meaningful prediction perhaps from the javelina or maybe the humming bird as to when will be the first 100-degree day.
As a kid before the Internet, I wondered what the groundhog did the rest of the year. Why did we ignore this animal only to be slightly curious about its habits on Feb. 2?
Here are a few groundhog factoids:
The groundhog is also known as a whistle pig, a woodchuck, and a land beaver and comes from the large squirrel family known as marmots. I guess Marmot Day doesn’t have the same finesse as Ground Hog Day.
You can stream it live but you have to get up really early.
Only one groundhog makes an appearance to determine the fate of how soon winter will be over. His name is always Punxsutawney Phil. That sounds like sex discrimination to me. Where is Punxsutawney Phyllis?
People in Punxsutawney, Pa. have a four-day festival leading up to Ground Hog’s Day. That just goes to show you that there is not much to do in that part of the world. When I was living near Pa., my very first boyfriend bragged about the fact that he was born in Punxsutawney. I’m sure he’s moved on.
There’s a wedding chapel in Punxsutawney and people can get married on Feb. 2 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. I guess then there’s no excuse to forget your anniversary.
*Here’s a trivia question: What song kept repeating on the radio in the movie, Ground Hog Day?