I have to get this off my mind. It’s been bothering me for too many years now. I think that now, I finally have the words to get out what I need to say.
Groundhog’s Day is such a farce! My god!!
It’s not the fact that we’re relying on a groundhog to determine whether or not there will be more wintery weather on the way. If it was just that simple, I probably wouldn’t find issue with the whole ordeal.
No, no… it is that we rely on what people, yes, PEOPLE, have to say. It is the caretakers of the well-kept domesticated, not-living-in-the-ground groundhog that determine what to tell people about the weather yet to come. It is the forecasters that determine what we should believe about winter’s end.
The fact of the matter is, as per the calendar, winter is 6 more weeks no matter what! It’s not reliant upon whether or not the caged animal sees his shadow.
See, I don’t have a problem with the premise of Groundhog Day. Someone once observed that the groundhog would come out of hibernation around this date every year. Some years, the animal would crawl back into his winter hide-out, and other years would come out and look for food. Upon more observation, it was determined that whenever he would go back into his home, more winter weather would be upon us, and if he stayed out, the weather would generally turn more milder and it would seem like spring was upon us sooner. I get that.
You can learn a lot from watching the behavior of animals. The animals sense things that we don’t. It’s not that we CAN’T per se, but it’s that we don’t.
What Groundhog Day has become, is a ritual upon which we all wait to hear whether or not a specific groundhog (the well-kept domesticated caged animal) like Punxsutawney Phil, or Wiarton Willie, etc, has seen his shadow and whisper it to the mayor or whoever is in charge of the festivities where everyone gathers in the cold waiting.
Yes, fine, it’s all in good fun. But people take it way too seriously and rely on what the groundhog supposedly said about the weather to come rather than using their own senses to determine the changes in the weather.
It’s a farce, and a sham! However, it is based on something very real.
Now, if people would only observe animal behavior on their own, they could and would see how weather and other things affect the animals before we even know about it. It affects the animals before even the weather forecasters know about what’s going on, even with their sophisticated technology that is supposed to be superior in weather-forecasting.
The truth of the matter is, it has become more than just fun. It has become that people rely on what the festivity people are telling them, instead of using instincts and watching what the wild animals are doing. Even the squirrels can tell you what the weather is going to be like. And the geese, don’t forget them. The geese around here have been flocking and heading north long before the groundhog predicted they should.
I may LIVE in the city, but I’m a country girl, born and raised. And when you grow up in the country, you tend to learn a thing or two about watching for the actual signs of weather. You watch the trees, you watch the animals and learn their patterns of when they act certain ways for different things, and you FEEL the air, you FEEL what is happening.
Besides, you can’t rely on weather forecasters all the time. More than half of the time they get it wrong. And the forecast changes drastically from day to day. So really, how can you rely on man to tell you what the weather will do long-range when they can’t get it right from one day to the next? How are they supposed to know what the weather will do in the last 6 weeks of winter when they can’t accurately project the data for that long any other time of year?
If you are going to live by what the groundhog does, whether or not he sees his shadow, then live by an actual groundhog, not by any of the ones at the Groundhog Day festivities. Observe the groundhog in its natural habitat. By observing the groundhog in its natural habitat, you are guaranteed to see the natural behaviors of the groundhog, and therefore can predict the weather (in this case the end of winter) by those behaviors.
And the groundhog does not choose February 2nd every year to come out of its hidey hole. Groundhogs can’t tell time and don’t live by a calendar. If they did, then they wouldn’t need to check the weather outside before determining whether or not to come out and stay awake.