I must admit this is a holiday I rarely pay attention to. Legend has it if the ground hog sees his shadow there will be six more weeks of winter. If he doesn’t see his shadow spring will arrive soon. “Soon” is rather vague but presumably sooner than six weeks.

In Minnesota an early spring would be six weeks. Six weeks brings us to the Ides Of March. Usually we don’t have spring until taxes are due. March is usually our snowiest month. Most of the snow that is dumped on us in March happens during our high school tournaments when everyone is traveling to downtown St. Paul to watch high school kids compete in basketball finals. Our March Madness involves shoveling out our cars and slipping on ice. Luckily it isn’t all that cold, just snowy.

Cold is a relative term however. What is cold for us is unbearable for most other states except for North Dakota and many portions of Canada.

Yesterday it was nearly 40 degrees Fahrenheit. We usually hit above freezing at least one day during January. For the last week the weather guesstimators were warning us that we would not reach above freezing but we pulled it off on the last day. Typical Minnesotans do that.

The thing about the whole groundhog seeing his shadow, at least in these parts, is that by and large we have sunny days. It’s too cold to have much cloud cover. So if we are paying attention to the groundhog who lives here we are sure to have six weeks more of winter. Of course it’s not likely that a groundhog is going to dig his way out of his burrow with a foot of snow on top of it.

While it was warm yesterday we had a good deal of snow melt happen. We can almost see our streets again which is always a nice thing to see. It’s just a tease however. They will be covered again soon I am sure.

No, I have no faith in a furry rodent who sleeps away the winter months. I’m not even sure we have groundhogs in Minnesota. I know we have squirrels, too many squirrels. We have chipmunks, gophers, moles (which seem to like my back yard especially) and prairie dogs. I haven’t seen a groundhog however except at the zoo.

Everyone else can get all excited about the possibility that spring might arrive early but I’m just going to wait it out. I know it’s not coming anytime soon. If we were to have early springs in Minnesota we wouldn’t have ice fishing, hockey, curling, broomball, the Winter Carnival where a bunch of rotund women vie for the prestigious title of Klondike Kate and the Vulcans terrorize the people of this good city by smearing grease paint all over their faces.

Besides we need the extra three months of winter to shed all the weight we put on during the holidays.