It's Groundhog Day. Will Punxsutawney Phil see his shadow? Will the long winter finally be over, or will it continue for six more weeks. Wait a minute......I live in the topics. It will be about 92 degrees today. Just like yesterday, and the day before that, and the day before that, and the day before that, but the day before that was 96 degrees. Guess I don't really care if Phil sees his shadow this year because there is no winter here. Ever.
Those of you who aren't from the states are probably a little confused right now. Let me explain, February 2nd is Groundhog Day. On this day a groundhog (a big fat rodent thingy) will come out of his burrow to look around. If Phil (the "official" groundhog weather forecaster) doesn't see his shadow then winter will soon be over and there will be an early spring. If he sees his shadow then he will be frightened back into his burrow and there will be six more weeks of winter. Seriously!
Apparently this is a big deal. Groundhog day has been marked on every American calendar I have ever purchased. It makes the national news every year. Lessons are taught in schools across the nation. There is even a movie Groundhog Day starring Bill Murray.
I remember learning about it in school (yes I had to learn about a fat weather predicting ground squirrel), but I don't have any idea who came up with this crazy idea. A quick search of the web cleared this right up. Various sites blame this legend on German settlers, Indians (native American variety), and a bit of Scottish poetry. That was enlightening. Guess we will never know.