Staten Island Chuck
So many Groundhogs… So many predictions…
In this day and age of social media, weather mapping, satellite weather patterning, so we really believe that a groundhog looks for his shadow to predict whether or not the region will experience six more weeks of winter or the coming of spring.
My kids wanted to go somewhere… Anywhere… to hang with the crowds who will have gathered to see if groundhogs throughout the area see their shadow to signal another six weeks of winter, or if they call for an early spring.
This year, Pennsylvania’s Punxsutawney Phil, predicted 6 more weeks of winter, while Staten Island Chuck, Wiarton Willie called for an early spring.
The tradition of Groundhog Day can be traced to a German myth on Candlemas Day.
It was believed that if any animal came out from hibernation on February 2nd and saw their shadow, there would be six more weeks of winter.
The myth was turned into a reality in the early 1880s, when Pennsylvanian settlers searched for a groundhog to see the shadow and local newspapers reported about the hunt.
Since that day, the celebration spread throughout the country, and other areas have hopped on board with rodents of their own.
While many people in the US focus on Pennsylvania’s Punxsutawney Phil, Canadians like to focus on Ontario’s Wiarton Willie, and Nova Scotia’s Shubenacadie Sam, while Western Canadians can turn their focus to Balzac Billy.
Being close to the US, we know that New Yorkers pay attention to Staten Island Chuck – real name Charles G. Hogg – with an 80% accuracy prognostication.
Chuck / Hogg, was the groundhog who bit former Mayor Bloomberg and was dropped by then Mayor de Blasio.
Even in Long Island, they have their own groundhogs, yes, 2 of them, Malverne Mel and Holtsville Hal.
So with so many groundhogs and so many predictions, we can be sure of this… Spring is coming, eventually. Spring training for baseball has always been my sign that spring is around the corner and with pitchers and catchers reporting in less than 3 weeks, I cna get ready to break out the shorts and sandals, right?
But for the kids… it’s all about the groundhogs! Consensus rules!