Spring comes with or without the groundhog’s blessing

0
Dennis Richardson

If the “official” groundhog sees his shadow Sunday, there will supposedly be six more weeks of winter, and if he does not see his shadow then “spring is just around the corner.”
Personally, I am OK with either way. If we have six more weeks of winter like the last six weeks, then we will be in good shape, weather-wise.

Those who long for snow days and a ton of snow may disagree with me.

I have been ready for spring ever since the beginning of the last cold spell. I like warmer weather, although the kinds of snows we have are normally very pretty. Just don’t send the ice.

Sunday a lot of eyes will be on the TV, many watching the live broadcast of Punxatawney Phil coming out of his hole in Pennsylvania. Will he see his shadow?

He makes his official exit into the daylight at 6:25 a.m. our time each Feb. 2 on a hill known as Gobbler’s Knob.

The local folks up there make it into a big deal, dressing in tuxes and top hats. Those who attend will find many connected activities. That could be fun but it’s not on my bucket list.

Tradition holds that if it is a sunny day and the groundhog sees his shadow he will scurry back into his den, which will signal six more weeks of winter. On the other hand, if it is cloudy enough for him to not see his shadow he will stay outside and play, foretelling the end of winter and predicting that spring is almost here.

Phil may be the most famous groundhog but he is not very accurate. Over the years he has seen his shadow 85 percent of the time.

His accuracy is at only 39 percent, meaning that he is wrong more than he is right.
Perhaps a more reliable prediction is one that turns Phil’s prediction around. It is all in fun and out of our control. God is the only one who knows for sure, and He will bring spring-like temperatures when He’s ready for it.

The official first day of spring this year is again March 20, and in adding the days it numbers about 50 days, or six weeks from Groundhog Day.

Interesting.

DENNIS RICHARDSON is the president of Magic Valley Publishing, the parent company for The Bartlett Express. He may be reached at dennis@magicvalleypublishing.com.