Friday, February 02, 2007

Timid Rodent's Day

Today is Groundhog's Day (here in America, anyway) and of all the holidays throughout the year, this is the one I understand the least. I suppose it mostly notable as the only reason most people have ever heard of Punxsutawney, PA, where the "official" groundhog (or woodchuck, or whistlepig) is known to reside.

We know there are six weeks remaining in winter. This is established scientific fact. Not even the activities of the mighty groundhog can shift the angle of the Earth in relation to the sun before the Vernal Equinox on March 20. We northern hemispherians are just gonna have to wait.

The temperature right now is a full 20°F below that at which water turns to ice. It is only going to get colder over the next few days, according to the meteorological shamans who frequently make as much sense as the whole thing with the rodent and its shadow. Were we thinking this might magically change?

Ideally, in better times, this was the day where I would go out and check my mail, get spooked by something and scurry back to my bed for another six weeks of bi-polar ruminations. This year, though, I have to go to work all the time and cannot afford to be distracted by my shadow.

12 comments:

Peggy said...

But have you seen Punxsutawney Phil? He is so fat no wonder the natives once thought he could alter nature's course and the tilt of the earth's axis...yeah, groundhog day schmoundhog day. Just gimme heat now! Stay warm, Moon Topples!

Minx said...

Not suffering global warming then?

~*SilverNeurotic*~ said...

It's a little warmer today than it has been the last two weeks or so.

Personally, I've always felt that Groundhogs Day was pretty mean...who wants to be woken up out of perfectly good hibernation for no good reason at all?

Sometimes Saintly Nick said...

It is terrible cold here, too. Relatively speaking, since it remains above 0. Still, it is too cold for my cat to go out and play and there is snow on the ground and he hates water in any form so tge cat is spending his time harassing me. I truly hope Spring comes soon!

The Moon Topples said...

Peggy: Typing this with gloves on. You stay warm, too.

Minx: Not suffering it, no. Not at this moment, anyway.

SilverN: Yeah, I know I get pretty steamed when a circus of weathermen rouse me from my slumber. One of these years, that groundhog is gonna strike back, and we'll all be very, very sorry.

S.S. Nick: If it helps, one of my cats actually pulled a blanket on top of himself in order to nap more snugly. I hope for spring, too, but March 20 is still pretty much when that'll happen. (sigh)

heartinsanfrancisco said...

I have never been able to grasp exactly how an animal in Pennsylvania, no matter how portly, can serve as a portent to the rest of the country with its various climatic zones.

And that animal must be at least 200 years old by now, anyway. How competent could he be?

SilverTiger said...

My knowledge of Groundhog Day is limited to the film of that title. Very amusing film. We don't have groundhogs. Shame: they seem to be appealing creatures.

Why communities have rituals like Groundhog Day and then stick to them through thick and thin is a mystery. I can only think that the ritual is absorbed into people's minds so that it becomes part of them and discontinuing it would be like losing a part of themselves.

At least it's better than Morris Dancing and dancing round the maypole. Well, practically anything is...

Email SilverTiger

That's so pants said...

I feel guilty now about our warm London winter. The cherry blossoms are already budding around me and the swans aren't half getting frisky.

Alen said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Alen said...

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The Moon Topples said...

HinSF: Exactly, it's not even a young, fresh groundhog. It's a shriveled up old thing. Probably senile. I don't know the life expectancy of a groundhog, but something tells me it is somewhere far shy of 200 years.

SilverTiger: What's Morris dancing?

TSP: Cherry blossoms? Seems I have hard of these things, but maybe so long ago that they have ne meaning left. It's even colder today than when I wrote the post yesterday. I knew we were in trouble when the weatherman said that the cold air was about to arrive, and it was 9°F while he was talking.

Alen: Thanks, and I did.

Katie said...

Oooh...20 degrees below zero? I never thought I'd say this, but Scotland is warm in comparison. I actually saw the first flowers of "spring" this weekend.