Wordy Wednesday ~ Groundhogs Day 2022

Happy Groundhog Day, the day where normally intelligent people rely on a rodent who supposedly predicts the arrival of spring. I myself have never put much stock in this silliness but it made me wonder where did this madness originate.

Apparently (and unbeknownst to moi), the tradition of consulting a rodent for a sign of an early spring or a late winter stems from the Christian tradition of Candlemas having its roots in pagan observances. Wait, another pagan influence? Ahem…move over Halloween.

“Candlemas was originally a Celtic festival marking the ‘cross-quarter day,’ or midpoint of the season,” according to the Almanac website. With the halfway point between the winter solstice and the spring equinox , a sunny day “predicted” the arrival of spring in about 6 weeks. Which, I might point out, is around the same time as the arrival of the spring equinox. Hmm, what a convenient ‘coincidence,’ you say?

Digging into just how we arrived at this annual rouse tradition where rodents predicte spring’s arrival, did you know there are a slew of season-predicting rodents, all from the Eastern part of the US. Probably the most famous of course is Punxsutawney Phil of Pennsylvania, followed by Dunkirk Daveย andย Staten Island Chuck both of New York, Millville Mel of New Jersey (who recently passed away and efforts to find a replacement were unsuccessful since groundhogs are hibernating this time of year), and Buckeye Chuck from Marion, Ohio. Interestingly this custom seemed to originate in Europe. Seems a bear brought the news to the French and Brits, while Germans looked to a badger for a sign of spring’s arrival. Why they just didn’t refer to the Gregorian calendar is beyond me, but then again…a lot of folklore seems baffling. When German immigrants arrived in Pennsylvania in the 1800’s, they brought the Candlemas legend with them. Pennsylvania being bereft of badgers but finding lots of groundhogs or woodchucks there, well lo and behold, an adaption of the legend came into being. Because a woodchuck is just a small bear, right? ๐Ÿ˜ณ

Anyway, I only had to look outside to realize spring ain’t coming any time soon. The Mile High was ‘gifted’ with between 8-12 inches of white stuff with wind chill factors pushing temperatures below zero.

Just look at that powdery pile!

These sunflower stalks in the front garden are about two feet tall and are pretty much halfway buried. The dogs weren’t very keen on trying to partake of their early morning ritual–going potty. Elsa gave me a look to chill my soul, though she bounced around once she finished while Norman’s eyes seem to ask…”do I really have to?” It’s safe to say today (and probably for the next few days) will be spent more indoors than normal given the brutally cold temps and Norman’s aversion for walking in snow.

If you were hit by this monster storm you already know the rodent’s prognostication wasn’t any kind of newsflash. And to think all we had to do was look at a calendar and not wake up some rodent from the squirrel family who shouldn’t be trusted anyway.

The good news is Friday is just a couple days away though. Stay safe and warm. Happy Hump Day.

Live, love, bark!ย  ๐Ÿพ

77 thoughts on “Wordy Wednesday ~ Groundhogs Day 2022

  1. February First and Second are Imbolc in Pagan traditions, it’s my favorite holiday, and it’s almost insulting that it’s been demoted to this strange and barbaric tradition. Thanks for describing it in detail, I’ve mostly ignored “Groundhogs Day” because the Idea upsets me.

    1. Thank you for swinging by the Ranch and for the follow. We ๐Ÿ’™ visitors. It truly is barbaric for the poor hibernating creature and makes no sense when Spring arrives officially on the calendar six weeks later anyway.

      1. With the equinox c: the reason for the cross quarter days is to mark the time between the 4 major holidays, erasing the need for these kinds of things. They evolved Christmas and de-evolved all the other Holidays ๐Ÿ˜ญ

    1. Oh Luluโ€ฆdonโ€™t you know the calendar trumps a rodentโ€ฆevery time. ๐Ÿ˜†

        1. Granted, I’m sure Hizzoner reacted the way most people would when bitten by a wild creature, still…a very bad look at a politician in one of those dumb limelight moments.

  2. No groundhog in his right mind would have been out here today at all, we also got 12+ inches of snow and before that freezing rain. Blech. Dalton is almost covered in it when he ventures to go into the un-shoveled parts…LOL! He wanted to bark the neighbors so he ran through the whole yard…pillowing right through it! Benji being taller, tries to dig in it and sniffs for the smaller rodents…

    When we cannot see our well head, then we know we have a lot of snow. Everything was closed down today, and the roads were about impassable. I was glad I did not have to go to work. Today, when I do have to be there, it should be better and largely cleaned up.

    Hooray, halfway through winter!

    1. Yikes! And I thought it was bad here (although this morning’s -8F temp sems pretty bad). Norman actually ran after this morning pee. He usually just saunters. LOL Elsa maintained her usual pogo stick sped and semi-biffed it going around the corner but was quick to pop up and get back in stride in a split second. She’s such a silly snow hound!

  3. Yup, we already have a good 10โ€ and might get some more tonight. Our short-legged dogs are pretty unhappy, even though we dig out a path for them. They are not running around the yard, for sure! Our standard poodle, River, just likes to run around in the snow so that I will rub her down with a towel!

    1. Spoons do tend to bounce around in the snow. Elsa does but Norman looks at her like sheโ€™s crazy. Heโ€™d probably be fairly spot on. ๐Ÿ˜†

  4. This post made me LOL. Thank you. I needed the laugh. I never had much use for the groundhog story; but at least it was fodder for a good laugh.

    BTW, Ducky LOVES running around in the snow. It broke my heart that I couldn’t let her do so when we had the storm 3 weeks ago that took out part of our fence.

    1. Glad the post brought a smile. They definitely help the days pass more easily.

      Elsa enjoys the snow but poor Norman is a total wuss when it comes to snow. Usually he lingers on pee runs but boy can he zip through them when thereโ€™s snow on the ground ๐Ÿ˜‚

  5. Peasants back then didn’t read/write or have calendars, ha! ๐Ÿ˜‰ It was interesting to read about the historical origin and the observation of Candlemas. I prefer following the pagan calendar (being a gardener), it makes more sense to me!

    1. More accurate too. As a fellow gardener, Iโ€™d never trust anyone from the squirrel family anyway.

    1. Organized religion historically took a lot of liberty about the metaphysical world as a way of control.

  6. Truth to tell I feel bad for Punxsutawney Charlie who is a sewer rat with an uncannily accurate track record of weather prognostication. Charlie always is overshadowed by that other rodent whose track record is worse than Al Roker.

  7. Yay! Precipitation! I am so happy for you guys… Would have been nicer sans the frigid temps but beggars can’t be choosers, eh?
    We have our share of stupid groundhogs: Wiarton Willie and Shubenacadie Sam – and get this… They are at war on what’s to come… ๐Ÿ™„
    Still laugh at your Brit’s aversion to the white stuff ๐Ÿ˜‰

    1. Very true. I’m not displeased with the snow and just resigned to the once normal January/February temps. Normally these are the two driest months of the entire year.

      Yeah, it’s quite entertaining about Norman’s reluctance to lousy weather. I remind him all that time that he has a double coat!! ๐Ÿ™ƒ

  8. whether the Groundhog sees his shadow or not…there is ALWAYS 6 more weeks of winter. Spring doesn’t come til March 20 or 21 (depending on the year)….if you count it out on the calendar…it’s 6 weeks…..end of story lol

  9. We’re staring down potentially that much snow tonight…. after getting practically none all winter so far. The problem with the groundhog is that nobody lets him speak for himself. Those fat guys in the tuxes make the predictions for him, then let the groundhog take all the blame for being wrong…

    1. Still not sure I’d trust a groundhog who was woken from his winter sleep. I know I’d be crabbish and probably apt to give a bogus prediction…just for being woken up. ๐Ÿ˜ˆ

    1. Neither one are very reliable these days. I always thought weathermen started this custom to spread the blame.

  10. Yep – I’ve always thought that groundhog prediction thing was (a) mean to drag him out of his home to wave him around to a cheering crowd and (b) a bunch of “hoo-haaa” !! Nobody knows when Spring will be here so we might as well just settle in and wait quietly. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Hugs, Pam

    1. Exactly…you only have to look outside to see where spring is and today at any rate, she’s hibernating with the less famous groundhogs. Stay warm!

  11. Stay warm if you can. Great overview of the silliness about rodents and spring. I’m sure that the places that have the ground hogs make a nice chunk of change on the festivities, and maybe it is all about a little boost to the economy at a very slow time of year.

    1. Right…I just looked at the calendar to realize the obvious. Too bad I can’t make a few sheckles about predicting Fridays. Bwahahaha!

  12. I looked at that powdery pile and got very cold. Yikes.

    It’s cold here this morning, but nothing like your cold. The sun is shining and the afternoon will be like spring for about three/four hours and then back to cold.

    Have a fabulous Wordy Wednesday. Scritches to the pups, a smooch to Norman and a big hug to you. โ™ฅ

    1. Thanks, Sandee. We’re gonna hunker inside most of the day, me thinks. I just got back from shoveling and of course, it’s snowing again. But at least I got the worst of it off before it got trampled into frozen mounds by the daily foot traffic.

    1. Snow is much easier to deal with. Ice is brutal. Hope the power grid holds up. Stay warm and give the fur-kids warm belly rubs from us.

        1. Family members living in Texas say ERCOT is nothing if not all about profits, at the expense of its users. Hopefully the grid will hold and a repeat of last year’s blunder won’t be repeated. Stay safe and warm.

          1. The governor put pressure on them but they seem to answer to no one. Their board should have received jail time as accessories to the six deaths last year. Alo we got was resignations.

            1. There was a lot of blame to go around on last year’s debacle between the board, the legislature as well as the governor. And deservedly so.

  13. what a holdover to hang onto… but then again it might be just about as reliable as the unpredictable weather this winter

  14. Our weather inn last 24 hourss Miss Monika: 1 hour of sun; warmer tempyss; rain; then icey sleet stuff; now snowin an a BIG snow storm on itss’ way.
    Groundhogss wee LOVE youss’ all.
    Wee think no one shuud wake youss’ up! CATFISH!
    ~~head rubss~~BellaDharma~~ an {{huggiess}} BellaSita Mum

    Pee S: **nose kissess** to mee Sweet Norman an paw ((huggiess)) to Elsa two!

    1. The weather has been a real yo-yo lately. Just this past Saturday it was 60(F) degrees. ๐Ÿ˜ณ

      1. Sumone putted yore commint inn wrong folder….sorry Miss Monika!
        Wee got up to 42 deegreess inn our warm up an then back to freezin an now just chilley….Weather peepss said LOTS OF SNOW today! It has snowed 46 flakess an iss now sunny! Oopsie!! ๐Ÿ˜‰

  15. Itโ€™s getting easier and easier to predict weather out here in NorCal. No significant rain or snow since the end of December, and none in the foreseeable rodent-less forecast. Iโ€™m not sure which type of โ€œdryโ€ state is worse. No rain or no wineโ€ฆ ๐Ÿ˜ฌ. HHD!

    1. AWK, that is a terrible dilemma. Here’s hoping the near future provides relief in both categories soon.

  16. Well, I sometimes wonder if it might make more sense to trust a rodent about the weather than the meteorologists. ๐Ÿ˜€ Well, I readily admit that, with modern technology, weather forecasts, especially the short term ones, have become a lot better.
    But I still like that joke about a weather forecaster who starts like this:

    “Ladies and gentlemen, before I give you the weather forecast for tomorrow, I’d like to correct the one for today and apologize for yesterday’s.”

  17. for us it is the day the farmers changed their workers… all the contracts lasted from candlemas to candlemas…hope I can stay and the boys will renew my contract LOL

    1. Having thumbs to open packages of food make it resounding YES on the contract renewal.

Feel free to bark your thoughts...but no growling please.

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