Have you ever wondered who in the world came up with the idea of looking to a 12-15 pound rodent as a forecaster of the weather? Yet, today, it’s GROUNDHOG’S DAY! So, someone did! The Punxsutawney story goes that the Pennsylvania Dutch immigrants were from the German-speaking areas of Europe, who had a tradition of marking Candlemas (February 2) as “Badger Day” where if a badger emerging, found it to be a sunny day thereby casting a shadow, it foreboded the prolonging of winter by four more weeks.
Move forward to 1886 when the Punxsutawney Spirit newspaper of Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania reported that “the beast had not seen it’s shadow yet.” The next year, the official first trek up to Gobbler’s Knob was made to consult the groundhog. Today, over 40,000 people gathered in that Pennsylvania town to find out the forecast from the supposedly supercentenarian rodent (Don’t ask me how he got so old since groundhogs usually live up to eight years or so, but I digress.) Anyway, he brought joy to most today by not seeing his shadow, meaning an early spring is sure to come!
Now, I sincerely doubt that very many (if any – but you never know?) believe in the groundhog’s prediction. He’s predicted 103 long winters and only 17 early springs in the past 120 years with an accuracy of less than 40%. With advanced technology, forecasting the weather has come a long way in the past few years, but when it boils down to it, as the Psalmist said, “Boast not thyself of to morrow; for thou knowest not what a day may bring forth.” (Proverbs 27:1) Thank goodness, the Good Lord does know, and we’ll leave it in His hands! God Bless, Courtney