Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Happy February! Tomorrow is Imbolc Day....What will the groundhog have to say?

Tomorrow, February 2nd, is Imbolc Day, the day that marks the point between the winter solstice and the spring equinox in the Northern Hemisphere (this day is celebrated on August 1st for those living south of the equator), and a day also known as Groundhog Day, when in New York, a rodent known as Staten Island Chuck annually makes a prediction on whether the coming days will be an early spring or prolonged winter. He does this by coming out of hibernation to see if he sees his shadow.

The deal is this: If the groundhog sees his shadow, mend your mittens, as winter will remain fast and furious; but, if he does not see his shadow, an early spring is in the wings. As an urban gardener, I am certainly eager to undo my urban garden winterizing although I hardly rely on a groundhog's predictions — even though in New York the groundhog has been right 85% of the time. A true New Yorker, this little rodent even stood up to Mayor Bloomberg (in 2010) by biting Bloomberg's finger in response for allegedly being coaxed out of his warm home and deep sleep to perform his see-or-not-see-his-shadow task.

I say allegedly because there is speculation that Staten Island Chuck was miffed at Bloomberg (for cutting the Staten Island Zoo's budget from 1.6 million dollars to 1.3 million dollars), and grabbed his chance to retaliate by biting the mayor's finger.

Now, with the mayor's recent arrogance over the response to the mishandling of the December 27, 2010 snowstorm, and his lofty manner regarding third term limits, New Yorkers are waiting in anticipation for tomorrow's event — not only to see if Staten Island Chuck sees his shadow, but to see if this little rodent will reprise his role of standing up to "his honor"— as only he seems to be capable of doing, as evidenced in the video posted below:


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