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Saturday, February 02, 2008


The Seasons: Winter and Punxsutawney Phil

Punxsutawney Phil has been known to be wrong in the past but if he is right then the cold and gray days are going to be with us for six more weeks. Traditionally, Phil has credibility. This year, however, Gen. Beauregard Lee, Phil's counterpart in Lilburn, GA, didn't see his shadow. Let the pundits quibble about who is right.

Associated Press, Punxsutawney, PA

The tradition is that if a hibernating animal sees a shadow on Feb. 2 — the Christian holiday of Candlemas — winter will last another six weeks. If no shadow is seen, legend says spring will come early.

That was the forecast from Gen. Beauregard Lee, Punxsutawney Phil's counterpart in Lilburn, Ga. Beau did not see his shadow Saturday morning at the Yellow River Game Ranch.

It was the third year in a row the two groundhogs' predictions differed.

We shall survive, of course. We always do. We complain about cold, rainy days but we survive and then spring arrives and with it new leaves, flowers, and balmy weather. Here in the San Francisco Bay area we need not worry any more about water shortage in the summer months; the foothills will remain green longer; chanterelles will continue to emerge and provide pleasure at the table.

"The desolation of winter;
Passing through a small hamlet ,
A dog barks"
---Shiki (translated by R.H. Blyth)


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