Early reports indicate that Punxsutawney Phil, having seen his shadow and darted back inside his hole, is predicting a long winter. Meanwhile in Canada all eyes are on Wiarton Willie to see what he thinks of the chances of an early spring. The rule of hog – dare I say the ground rule – is that a shadow-frightened rodent means six more weeks of winter.
All this is cute and no doubt makes somebody a few bucks on T-shirt sales. But we Canadians have to adjust the parameters just a wee bit. If Phil sees his shadow, as he did today, that means six more weeks of winter. That’s mid-March! With the exception of those living west of the Rockies, any Canadian worth his or her road salt would love to have spring arrive in March, in reality, not just on the calendar.
I suggest the following change: If Wiarton Willie doesn’t see his shadow and opts to come out of his hole and lead us to believe we’ll have an early spring that’s fine and dandy. But on those occasions when he scarpers back under the covers with the remote and a few books, let’s be true to our climate and say ten more weeks of winter are in store.
When it comes to meteorological conditions, what works in Pennsylvania doesn’t work in Wiarton, Ontario!