Groundhogs given too much credit

No self respecting groundhog - or marmot - would so much as stick her nose out of her cozy little lair in these frigid temperatures.

Has anyone seen the groundhog yet? Any groundhog? A marmot?

Why anyone would put their faith in the behaviour of an animal that doesn’t even emerge from its den until the Spring time is beyond me. We know what the forecast is going to be before we hear it officially read, and yet we all wait with frozen breath.

Luckily for Tool Man and myself, we have Right On Rusty in our house, the best little weather prognosticator on the continent.

Rusty the Groundhug is, of course, a cat. Last year tossing him outside on Feb. 2 produced a mixed reaction.This year it was much more definite: he wouldn’t go near the door and no amount of enticing could get  him to budge.

There wasn’t much else budging outside, either.

Why is it that summer passes like a breeze but a week of bitter freezing seems like an eternity?

I spent Saturday in the warm comfort of Seedy Saturday in the Cache Creek Community Hall, talking to gardeners and planning my vegetable garden. On Sunday I drove out to Barnes Lake to watch a bunch of crazy people drive around in circles on the ice as the wind made it twice as cold as the thermometer reading.

Only in Canada, you say.

At least disturbing groundhogs and trying to make sense of weather fronts and lows is better than examining the spleens of pigs and geese.

Can’t trust the robins around here because they stick it out for the winter. I saw a couple of them dancing on a snowy hill of dirt in my backyard on Monday. Besides, I’m positive that I heard the birds singing their Springtime song just a week or so ago. Chumps!

I like using the wooly bear caterpiller myself, but you don’t see them much anymore, probably thanks to the control of the related Spotted Tussock moth.

I don’t have a prediction, just a reminder for the winter weary: it’s a sure thing is that the first cheery dandelions will be blooming four long weeks from now, before the last of the snow is gone.

Wendy Coomber is editor of the Ashcroft-Cache Creek Journal

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