Friday, February 03, 2006

Groundhog Day

Lauren with Fizzy the groundhog
Lauren with Fizzy the groundhog
Have you seen the film Groundhog Day, in which Bill murray has to keep re-living the same day until he can get Andie MacDowell to fall in love with him?

Well, it turns out that yesterday was Groundhog Day. It was Lauren who educated me to this. I picked her up from school and she greeted me excitedly with a pop-up groundhog that she'd named Fizzy.
The train of thought was this:

The groundhog is brown
Cola is brown
Cola is fizzy

If you look closely at the picture, you'll see that she then extrapolated this to give the groundhog yellow teeth because cola rots your teeth.

A groundhog
A Groundhog (Source)
Groundhog Day is a day that falls half way between the Winter Equinox and Spring Solstice -- always the 2nd of February. On this day, groundhogs (also known as woodchucks) have special discernment in predicting how long the winter will last. If it comes out of its hole and sees its shadow, this means that there will be six more weeks of winter, otherwise it will be an early spring. The most famous groundhog is Punxsutawney Phil in Pennsylvania (this was the one featured in the film), but many other parts of the country have their own captive groundhogs and make their own predictions. NC boasts two weather-forecasting rodents -- Sir Walter Wally in Raleigh and Lil Bit in Lexington.

Groundhog Central lists many groundhogs, along with their 2006 prognoses. There is even one where the groundhog died in 2002 and the prognosticating has been taken over by a llama! (By the way, have you heard The Llama Song?)

Emily and friend skipping
Emily and friend skipping
The other thing I did yesterday was to watch Emily (at school) skipping. Although, it turns out that a skipping rope is called a jump rope here. I'm not sure if this means that she was jumping, which one can do without a rope; or if she was jump-roping. Perhaps someone can let me know. The event was part of this year's Jump Rope for Heart campaign (American Heart Association).

1 comment:

Lorraine said...

We love "Groundhog Day" and always watch it to "celebrate". The Child has also figured out that whether Phil sees his shadow or not it still amounts to 6 more weeks of winter. She thought it was dumb until I suggested that at least it gives us something to do in a dreary month.

And yes, technically you are "jumping rope" when you use a jump rope. Although I have read books from past generations where it was referred to as "skipping rope". Couldn't tell you what informed the change.