Saturday, March 1, 2008

FIRST day of March

FIRST day of March! Gotta feel like we're over the hump, but in lieu of the falling snow, it's extremely tough. Again, I think they should shoot that little underground rodent in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania. (better known as Punxsutawney Phil, the stupid groundhog associated with the traditional groundhog day every February 2nd. For those of you that haven't heard the real meaning of it, here it is:

Perhaps the earliest known American reference to Groundhog Day can be found at the Historical Society of Berks County in Reading, Pennsylvania. The reference was made February 4, 1841 in Morgantown, Berks County, Pennsylvania storekeeper James Morris' diary: "Last Tuesday, the 2nd, was Candlemas day, the day on which, according to the Germans, the Groundhog peeps out of his winter quarters and if he sees his shadow he pops back for another six weeks nap, but if the day be cloudy he remains out, as the weather is to be moderate."[1]

In the United States the tradition derives from a Scottish poem:

As the light grows longer
The cold grows stronger
If Candlemas be fair and bright
Winter will have another flight
If Candlemas be cloud and snow
Winter will be gone and not come again
A farmer should on Candlemas day
Have half his corn and half his hay
On Candlemas day if thorns hang a drop
You can be sure of a good pea crop [1]
This tradition also stems from similar beliefs associated with Candlemas Day[2] and Groundhog Day. Candlemas, also known as the Purification of the Virgin or the Presentation, coincides with the earlier pagan observance Imbolc. [1]

As stated earlier, a shadow of Punxsutawney Phil means six more weeks of winter, and no shadow means spring is around the corner. Groundhog Day proponents state that the rodents' forecasts are accurate 75% to 90%. A Canadian study for 13 cities in the past 30 to 40 years puts success rate level at 37%. Also, the National Climatic Data Center reportedly has stated that the overall predictions accuracy rate is around 39% [1]
[1] Wikipedia

Anyway, I still think they need to shoot that little ground rodent as soon as he pops his trouble making head up out of his burrow, before he can see anything, thus insuring no problem with an additional six weeks of winter. Who needs it! We suffer, he goes back to sleep. I bet that's why all those hunters in the summer go hunting them and farmers openly welcome any and all that come to their farms in pursuit of them.  They all HATE them!!  Anyway, think SPRING.... it's gotta be coming. We didn't get the additional 4 to 7 inches of snow they were calling for, so that's good.
Happy March 1st!!


Gone the breezes shuffling the whirl of snow,
the chill of freezing wind that stings the face,
the death like look of plants and trees around you,
for as would resemble a wound from serious injury,
day by day it surely seems to heal and go away,
until all is returned to the previous state of summer. 

                                                                                 S. F. Watt 


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