Friday, March 22, 2013

Phenology: Please Don't Whack the Groundhog

While this web site is so busy we didn't even have time to do a phenology post about the red-tailed hawk we saw on Wednesday (male, possibly the mate or son of the female we've seen a few times this winter), an Ohio county attorney has made the time to file a formal complaint against the famous groundhog, Punxsutawney Phil, for "predicting" an early spring:

http://www.theblaze.com/stories/2013/03/22/funny-or-govt-waste-groundhog-officially-indicted-by-prosector-for-inaccurate-prediction-of-early-spring/

I took the poll at the end of Liz Klimas's article; my vote was "Shouldn't have trusted a groundhog in the first place." What does a giant rodent know?

Another fun fact about the groundhog: Although Irvin S. Cobb once observed that the Virginia Possum's "name is not O'Possum, nor is it MacPossum. There is nothing Irish about him. He is American," the groundhog's Cherokee name, okona, can be heard as "O'Connor"...especially by hearers who've been drinking green beer.

Any phenology observations here, other than the red-tailed hawk? Well...the daffodils, ground-ivy, and dandelions have continued to bloom; and air temperatures were below freezing when I walked to the computer center this morning. I think air temperatures stayed close to the freezing point all day yesterday. By Virginia standards the weather can be described as cold.