Today is Ground Hog Day

Saturday, February 2nd, 2019

I am visiting my sister-in-law in Providence, Rhode Island, where the “Arctic Chill” is in full force! But the sun is shining and the wind is not whistling, so I am not complaining. It’s Groundhog Day, so maybe we will see Spring soon!

Here is a poem I wrote while looking out the kitchen window at the empty clothesline in the backyard:

 

 

Ode to a Lonely Clothesline

A naked clothesline shivers in the February freeze,

Barely moving, like a silent breeze.

Does anyone hang wash outside on a wintry day,

or are dryers busy rumbling and tumbling away?

Wet wash in winter often hung* on our basement line—

no automatic dryer to ease Mom’s daily whine

of clothes piled high on the cold, gray floor;

waiting their turn, there was always more!

Endless mounds of not-so-dirty clothes—

A nod to “cleanliness is next to Godliness,” I suppose.

 

*My sisters and I often helped Mom hang clothes ( outside)on the clothesline in winter. We brought them in frozen and let them “melt” indoors. I write about this in my 2018 book, For the Love of Clotheslines, which is available on Amazon.

 

 

February 2nd- Groundhog Day & Prediction add-on with Poem

Monday, February 2nd, 2015

2/3/15 As promised, I am adding on this info the day after I posted Groundhog Day and unfortunately, the prediction is not favorable; six more weeks of winter!

I also received a poem for Groundhog Day from classmate Mary Lou, who also lives in PA. See BELOW:

February 2nd is Groundhog Day and one day I would like to travel to Punxutawney just to see what it looks like.
In the meantime, here are some notes about groundhogs, also known as woodchucks. (I also love the movie Groundhog Day.)

Source: http://animals.nationalgeographic.com/animals/mammals/groundhog/ (After the prediction of more or less winter, I will add it to this posting.)


The groundhog, or woodchuck, is one of 14 species of marmots. These rodents live a feast-or-famine lifestyle and gorge themselves all summer to build up plentiful reserves of fat. After the first frost, they retreat to their underground burrows and snooze until spring, drawing their sustenance from body fat. While hibernating, the animal’s heart rate plunges, and its body temperature is not much warmer than the temperature inside its burrow.

Groundhog hibernation gave rise to the popular American custom of Groundhog Day, held on the second of February every year. Tradition dictates that if a groundhog sees its shadow that day, there will be six more weeks of winter, though such a prediction seems a sure bet over much of the groundhog’s North American range.

In the spring, females welcome a litter of perhaps a half dozen newborns, which stay with their mother for several months.

Groundhogs are the largest members of the squirrel family. Though they are usually seen on the ground, they can climb trees and are also capable swimmers. These rodents frequent the areas where woodlands meet open spaces, like fields, roads, or streams. Here they eat grasses and plants as well as fruits and tree bark. Groundhogs are the bane of many a gardener. They can decimate a plot while voraciously feeding during the summer and fall seasons.



Quarryville Phil By Mary Lou Meyes
How innocuous he seems,
forecasting the weather, but
how he rings with authenticity, Pauxatony Pete
or Quarryville Phil in his top hat and tails.
Someone railing on about whether
or not he sees his shadow
proclaiming six more weeks of winter
or disclaiming the same.
How systematically he eats
rows of carrots, lettuce, and beets.
Now one’s caged in a trap like a rabbit,
his face devoid of expression,
he cannot understand the foibles of man
eulogizing him every February 2nd.
Shots still ring out on our land,
in spite of his begging enterprise,
his benign face, fur ball of a body
which takes up more than space.
Only in top hat and tails, otherwise a disgrace,
his holes decorate our landscape,
horses can’t escape.  To no avail,
we apprise him of his obligation to turn tail,
remain out of sight in forests not vales,
but cannot deter him from our land grant,
no matter we flood, poison, bomb him out,
with his catch me if you can attitude
until we resurrect that February 2nd mind set.
but he still hangs about.



Subscribe