Tuesday, February 2, 2010

The Prophets of February

Well, it's Groundhog Day and Punxsutawney Phil, the predictor from Pennsylvania, has officially seen his shadow, harbinging 6 more weeks of winter. Well, after all, winter technically does last about 6 more weeks since spring officially arrives on March 20, so I guess I've never really understood what the fuss was about... but then, I enjoy each season for its own unique qualities.

While Phil gets all the glory, you may not be aware that there are many other Prophets of February in the US and Canada. Here in AZ, Agua Fria Freddie, a rattlesnake 'down Tucson way, has held the honor for many many years. (I must admit, I'm not sure I'd like to have to go yanking a rattlesnake out of his secret burrow just to find out if he sees his shadow!) I haven't been able to find an official report for this year, but if I do, I'll be sure to post it!

General Beauregard Lee, PhD (he has an honorary doctorate from the University of GA), the famous groundhog of the Yellow River Game Ranch in Georgia, greeted onlookers with the promise of an early spring this morning by not seeing his shadow.

And Brookfield Zoo, in my hometown of Chicago, IL, has not one but two prophets of February. Cloudy and Tumbleweed, a pair of groundhogs who live at the zoo. As senior groundhog, Cloudy actually makes the prediction and this year, at my last check, the zookeepers hadn't been able to lure the hibernating critters out of their burrows yet - even with the enticing aroma of sweet potato cakes. Ah well, the weather will be what it will be, groundhogs or not! It's good to know that most of the programs around North America have adopted an attitude of letting sleeping groundhogs lie!

Do you have your own hometown Prophet of February? If you do, I'd love to hear about it - and let's hear what the predication was!

(That adorable Hitch-hiking Groundhog Clay Figurine at the top of this post is from ClayCreationsbyLaura on Etsy)

***Late update from Brookfield Zoo in Chicago - Tumbleweed finally emerged from her burrow and did NOT see her shadow - but she did devour the sweet potato cakes. The male part of the pair, Cloudy remained sound asleep through it all. (Dare I say that human males are not that far removed from their male animal counterparts???)


Made by Melissa said...

Sweet potato cakes?!? YUM! I'd come out for those!!

From what I heard, there is a groundhog in Staten Island, NY that did not see his shadow.

That little figurine you found is adorable!

Splendid Little Stars said...

I was going to say, if you can't even get the groundhogs out, what does that say?! not even with sweet potato cakes!

Sinclair said...

Yum! Very interesting weather mascots. I don't think we have a local predictor.

Rose Works Jewelry said...

I had no idea there were others than Phil!

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