I have never been fully clear on this whole Groundhog Day concept. If Punxsutawney Phil crawls out of his hole and sees his shadow, then we are fated to have another six weeks of winter. If he doesn't see his shadow, then spring is just around the corner. My naive mind suggests that if the rodent were to see his shadow, then the sun would be out, causing the shadow to be cast in the first place. Wouldn't a sunny day be a better indicator of the change of season?I want there to be some science to it. I know that cows either sense the moisture in the air and are making sure they have somewhere dry to lie down or their poor knee joints are stressed by the change in barometric pressure, the latter makes sense in a conventional way to me and my surgically repaired knee that throbs when the weather changes. A more amusing story about squirrel tails suggests that if they are very bushy or the squirrels themselves are collecting big stores of nuts in autumn, then a severe winter should be expected. There isn't a lot of scientific evidence to support this, but if they are myths, they have a grain of practicality to them.
The forecast from General Beauregard Lee, Punxsutawney Phil's counterpart in Lilburn, Georgia was just the opposite. The fact that these two municipalities are almost eight hundred miles apart, or twelve hours' drive via the Interstate, might have something to do with their differing projections, but the reliance on their abilities in this counterintuitive measure seems foolhardy and vague.
Or maybe I'm just bitter because the occasion didn't coincide with yet another three day weekend.