Tuesday, February 2, 2016

PHIL

How about that Punxsutawney Phil?

This morning, the detestable rodent from the western region of my fair state, did not see his shadow, thus predicting that spring is "right around the corner."

Hmm...I DID run in shorts today, as the temperatures hovered in the low 50s, and the sun shone brightly.

Legend tells us that if a groundhog sees its shadow on February 2nd, winter will last another six weeks. German settlers imported this folklore to Pennsylvania in the 1700s. Now, Punxsutawney Phil’s handlers maintain 100 percent accuracy in his seasonal predictions, since the first Groundhog Day celebration in 1887, but statistics tell a different story. The actual "success rate" of the 'whistle pig's' (yep, another name for a groundhog) forecast hovers around 37%. Perhaps about as accurate as most local weather persons.

I love writing about Groundhog Day, but I absolutely hate groundhogs. They are ugly, destructive creatures. Groundhogs rut farm fields, ravage crops, and cause general destruction. They carry rabies, and have attacked my dog on two separate occasions.

But furry little Phil remains one of those traditions that is probably "cute" to cling to.

Chances are, winter WILL hang on for at least another six weeks, but as long as I can plant my spring onions around St. Paddy's Day, and run in shorts for most of the month of March, I can endure the prediction of the oversized buck-toothed rat.