Training the Mind of the Horse and Rider

Training the Mind of the Horse and Rider
Click on Logo (Original artwork by Lanie Frick for Messick Quarter Horses. Not permitted to be copied)

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

6 MORE Weeks of Winter



We don’t want to hear this, not this winter when it seems like winter has been a year long. We don't want to hear this, not ever. But here it is, the terrible phrase, “6 more weeks of winter“. Only because Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow.

German tradition holds that if a hibernating animal sees its shadow on Feb. 2, which is the Christian holiday of Candlemas, then winter will last another six weeks. If no shadow is seen, legend says spring will come early.

Phil has emerged to see his shadow in Pennsylvania, meaning winter will last another six weeks. We haven’t seen much sun all winter. How did my home state of Pennsylvania get so lucky on this special day? But as a kid growing up in Pennsylvania, I don’t remember dreary winter days. I remember lots of days of sledding, building snowmen, and snowball fights. I remember the glare of the sun on the snow. Sorry, America, I guess you shouldn’t have chosen PA to determine how long winter would be.

The Punxsutawney Groundhog Club annually announces Phil's forecast at dawn on Gobbler's Knob, about 65 miles northeast of Pittsburgh. Hundreds of onlookers watched as Phil was brought out. Temperatures were in the teens. Why would any rodent want to come out on such a cold day?

I grew up within an hour of Punxsutawney. The Punxsy High School teams were a major rival of my high school. I never thought that Groundhog Day was a special occasion. And it amazes me every year that it is a national event! I just shake my head. And all because of a rodent that wrecks havoc in our hay fields and gullies!

Since 1887 Phil has predicted more winter weather by seeing his shadow nearly 100 times. There are no records for nine years.

Does this mean that we really don’t need Punxy Phil? We might as well say that there is always 6 more weeks of winter after Feb 2?

On a good note, Spring is coming. As soon as this 6 week period is over, Spring will be just a few days away. So, for every day we spend in this extra 6 weeks of winter, spring is 1 day closer.

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