Phil says: Six more weeks of something

Happy Woodchuck Day. I mean Groundhog Day.

I am unsure that groundhog would be a suitable substitute in the tongue-twister:

How much wood would a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood?

Try it:

How much ground would a groundhog hog if a groundhog could hog ground?

I mean, it doesn’t make a lot of sense. Of course, except in the realm of anthropomorphism, neither would one would likely see woodchucks chucking wood. That is, except in a GEICO commercial.

Either way, groundhogs, a.k.a. woodchucks, whistle-pigs and land beavers, don’t know syrup from mole asses when it comes to practicing climatology. That, nevertheless, doesn’t keep the town of Punxsutawney, Pa., from committing annual civic larceny by luring a groundhog out of the ground every Feb. 2, with said whistle-pig purporting to predict whether six more weeks of winter shall visit upon us.

Sorry, I know that is a bit strong. I am sure it is a fun celebration on Groundhog Day. Here is what Punxsutawney’s official Web site says of the goings on this morning:

“Hear Ye Hear Ye Hear Ye!

On Gobbler’s Knob on this magnificent Groundhog Day, February 2nd, 2012, Punxsutawney Phil, the Seer of Seers, Prognosticator of all Prognosticators, was summoned from his burrow in the old oak stump by the tap of President Bill Deeley.

At 7:25 a.m. he greeted his handlers, John Griffiths and Ron Ploucha. After casting an appreciative glance toward thousands of his faithful followers, Phil proclaimed:

As I look at the crowd on Gobbler’s Knob,
Many shadows do I see
So six more weeks of winter it must be!”

Burma Shave.

So by the prognostication of Phil’s shadow does it appear that we shall have six more weeks of winter, meaning sometime during the six weeks some place will actually receive winter weather. It really has been kind of a weak winter, nationally. Or, there shall be no winter at all. Or, the weather will stay as it is. As it is here, where I live, on the upper Texas coast, that means warm, humid, cloudy and even rainy weather. That rocks pretty much as far as I am concerned since we have suffered a very ugly drought.

Personally, I think predicting the end of winter is for the birds. Literally.

I saw a robin red-breast on Sunday when I went for a short walk. I started to pull out my cell phone and take a picture of it, but I figured it would be gone by then. It actually ignored me for about a minute or so.

Not long before seeing the robin, I saw a small V-shaped flock of geese flying el norte.

“Hey boys, I think we can get to Indianapolis in time for the Super Bowl,” says the geese squadron leader.

“Roger that. Honk honk,” the wingman replies.

When it comes to predicting weather by other than human beings using sophisticated science and radars and stuff, which member of the animal kingdom would you choose? A rodent or a bird?

If you are like a real person you probably could give a rat’s ass unless you are a farmer or someone else whose lives depend on the upcoming weather. And I might be wrong but most modern farmers probably don’t trust their livelihoods to either bird or rodent. That means there isn’t a lot we can do about what type of weather appears in the upcoming six weeks.

So it looks like we’re back to square one. Deja vu all over again, like Yogi Berra said. Why it’s just like that movie. What’s it called? I’m trying to remember.

Oh yeah, “Groundhog Day.”