Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Chesapeake Chuck, Our Southeastern Virginia Cousin of Punxsutawney Phil


   
 If you still believe in Santa Claus, the Tooth Fairy, or that Carolyn Keene (author of the Nancy Drew mysteries) exists, then you might not be ready for the dose of reality I’m about to administer. If you want to flip over to play a game of mahjongg while the rest of us discuss this, that’s OK by me.
     Those of you still with me, you might want to sit down. 
     Is everyone ready?  Then here we go.
     The groundhog who “predicts” if winter will end soon or drag on for another six weeks does NOT come out of his hibernation annually on February 2nd for that reason.  No, the male emerges from his hidey-hole to mate.  Yup, he’s had a nice long nap and now he’s looking for some fun. It’s that simple.
     So from whence did this vernal misconstrual come?
     According to the History.com, “Groundhog Day has its roots in the ancient Christian tradition of Candlemas Day, when clergy would bless and distribute candles needed for winter. The candles represented how long and cold the winter would be. Germans expanded on this concept by selecting an animal–the hedgehog–as a means of predicting weather. Once they came to America, German settlers in Pennsylvania continued the tradition, although they switched from hedgehogs to groundhogs, which were plentiful in the Keystone State.”
    February 2, 1987 is considered the first official Groundhog Day in the United States. It happened at Gobbler’s Knob in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania. Anyone who’s ever graduated 3rd grade is familiar with the lore…if the groundhog sees his shadow, it scares him and he scurries back to his den.  Six more weeks of winter ensues.  If, on the other hand, it’s a cloudy day, then no shadow, and the groundhog will stay above ground, signaling an early arrival of spring.  Yeah, it all depends on the weather the morning of February 2. Not exactly scientific.
     And here’s the other spoiler…the “official” rodent weather prognosticator, Punxsutawney Phil from Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, is only 39% accurate in his prediction.  That means he’s wrong more than he’s right.  But still, anytime he sticks around above ground we all break out the gardening tools and pour over the gardening catalogs in earnest, because Phil has proclaimed that spring has arrived!
Here in Southeastern Virginia we take our cue from Chesapeake Chuck.  He is a groundhog (also known as a woodchuck or a whistle pig—so named for the way the animal whistles when frightened or looking for food) that resides at the Virginia Living Museum in Newport News, Virginia.  I can’t find the stats on him, but I do know in 2015 he predicted an early spring, and we had one of the snowiest February’s I can recall. 
     But unlike Phil, ol’ Chuck has more than one trick in his grand top hat. In addition to predicting the weather, he also foretells the winner of the Super Bowl.  Two identical plates of nuts and berries are placed in front of posters of the two contenders.  In 2015, Chuck went straight for the Patriots.  You can be sure I’ll be checking on Chesapeake Chuck to see how accurate his predictions are.  I’m hoping for a Carolina win (closest team to southeastern Virginia…) and that Chuck runs back into his hole.  Only then I can run to the local garden store and stock up on Shasta daisies! Here’s hoping for an early spring! 



5 comments:

Georgia Zara said...

GB Sons is a licensed drain-layer general contractor that provides water tie ins and sewer tie in many Eastern Massachusetts Communities. To learn more see here-water tie in Massachusetts

Helson Steven said...

A licensed general contractor, or prime contractor in some areas, is the person or company in charge of organizing and carrying out projects such as new residence
building, large construction operations, renovation, demolition, building, reinstatement and more.Take a look at-sewer tie in southeastern, ma

Jenifer Lopez said...

Hello

I read your post . Your discusssion is very informative for blog readers readers.Thanks for this awesome blog post.A licensed general contractor, or prime contractor in some areas, is the person or company in charge of organizing and carrying out projects such as new residence building, large construction operations, renovation, demolition, building, reinstatement and more.Take a look at-sewer tie in southeastern, ma

Regards
Jenifer lopez

Sathiaja Sarah said...

Dear friend,

Anyone dealing with construction site regulation compliance issues knows that it's not an easy job. Federal, state and local laws impact many facets of construction work, and keeping up with what seem to be constant changes can be overwhelming. Compliance with the laws is vital, though, no matter how new they are.
my aim is to help you :sewer tie in Massachusetts


Alfaj Ripon said...

Dear men/ womens,

Many people are interested in increasing their storage space or creating a new feature for the exterior of their property. Sheds are popular choice as they are extremely versatile. However, those who have little DIY experience worry about siting their new shed and constructing sturdy base. This need not be stressful as building a base for your shed is actually quite a simple task which is usually easy for one person to complete.
To learn more about it see : sewer tie in Massachusetts

Thank you for read my comment.

Regards
alfajripon