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Meteorology by marmot

You want me to predict what?

Apparently the immortal groundhog Punxatawny Phil saw his shadow today, so six more weeks of winter. Well, duh, it’s only February. Of course the way winter is going this year, I’m not so upset about that. It was 70 degrees in northern Virginia yesterday!

What is it with all of these prophets in rodent form anyway?

In addition to Phil, there’s Dunkirk Dave (Dunkirk, NY) and Staten Island Chuck (what, they couldn’t come up with an alliteration in Staten Island? Stan, Steve, Stewart…).

And why are all the soothsayers male? Out of 23 weather-predicting groundhogs—yes, 23!!—only one is female: Lawrenceville Lucy of Lawrenceville, PA. (See, even she has an alliterative name.)

I can’t imagine why so many towns are in the meteorology-by-marmot business, but I’m guessing all of these critters bring tourists. Why else would there be so many towns with psychic groundhogs?

Maybe they should branch out and start predicting economic recovery, election results, and sports. Try out new animals, like Paul the (now deceased) octopus who predicted the 2010 World Cup Soccer games.

How about Rodney the raccoon for NASCAR, Hank the hog for the Superbowl, and Ginny the giraffe for cricket?

On the other hand, who cares?

Whatever happens with the weather, I hope the rest of winter is good to you. Happy Groundhog Day!

Photo credit: By D. Gordon E. Robertson (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 ( or GFDL (], via Wikimedia Commons