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Groundhog Day 2013
by Stormy on February 02, 2013

There's only one thing that a good prognosticator does on February 2 and that's check the weather.

Itís Groundhog Day once again and that means I break my slumber and head outside to see how the weather will be for the next six weeks. Now, I know that there are questions associated with how marmots fit into the big picture of weather prognostication and thatís perfectly fair. Surveys show that most people think that Marmot is a sporting goods manufacturer. It is. Real marmots sit on their board of directors and advise them on how to make warm clothes and durable gear. We marmots know a lot about winter survival.

If you poll a good scientist about marmots, they will show you this chart:
Kingdom:Animalia
Phylum:Chordata
Class:Mammalia
Order:Rodentia
Family:Sciuridae
Genus:Marmota

Now, there are just over a dozen species of marmots. Sometimes they are classified as Old World marmots and New World marmots. Thatís more of a geographic breakdown. Another way to classify the marmot species is by their subgenus, Marmota and Petromarmota, which is a biological or evolutionary view of marmot development. Either way, a marmot is a marmot and both the groundhog (or Marmota Monax) and the yellow-bellied marmot (Marmota Flaviventris) are leaves on the same branch of the evolutionary tree. And yes, when the wind blows and the sun shines, we are equally talented at forecasting the weather.

I noticed that all my east coast friends are leaning towards an early spring and thatís probably because thereís a big storm covering a big chunk of the country east of the Mississippi. Bad weather tends to cloud judgment and bad decisions tend to come from that.

I personally poked my nose out today and it was chilly and clear. To avoid bias I even hiked up to the lake and tried to dip my toes in the water. Turns out that itís frozen pretty solid. And the sky was blue and the sun was shining in a rather blinding way and when I turned away to shield my eyes, I saw my shadow and that was scary enough to almost make me pee. Itís official. Six more weeks of winter. Iím going back to bed.

Getting the toes cold on an ice covered lake.
(taken by Stormy on February 02, 2013)


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