© 2024 WYSO
Our Community. Our Nation. Our World.
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Poor Will's Almanack: February 2- 8, 2021

Mark Moschell
Flickr Creative Commons

Poor Will’s Almanack for the Second Week of Late Winter, the fourth week of the Snow Flea Moon (when snow fleas often appear on the surface of fresh snow), the third week of the Sun in Aquarius.

Now today is Groundhog Day, and the Great Groundhog may have visited your house in the night.

Well, maybe.

Many years ago I was a single parent with a four-year-old daughter named Jeni who refused to fall asleep without an elaborate bedtime ritual. I used to make up stories to appease her appetite for novelty.

One of those stories was about the Great Groundhog. This creature was seasonal, was chubby, friendly and fuzzy, appeared, of course, on Groundhog Day, February 2, in the deepest part of winter, and it brought good girls and boys who believed in it small presents.

Unlike Santa, and more like the Tooth Fairy, the Great Groundhog did not overwhelm children with expensive presents, but rather simply made the winter less uneventful.

On the mornings of those distant February 2nds, small gifts would appear next to my daughter’s bedside table: a stuffed animal or some kind of trinket. No big deal. It was just fun for me and for her.

Jeni doesn’t remember many of the stories I made up back then, but she does still remember the Great Groundhog, and she wishes me a Happy Great Groundhog Day every year. In retrospect, I wish I had made up more days like that.

This is Bill Felker with Poor Will’s Almanack. I’ll be back again next week with notes for the third week of Late Winter. In the meantime, ponder the possibilities: Is there a Great Groundhog? I think there should be.

Stay Connected
Bill Felker has been writing nature columns and almanacs for regional and national publications since 1984. His Poor Will’s Almanack has appeared as an annual publication since 2003. His organization of weather patterns and phenology (what happens when in nature) offers a unique structure for understanding the repeating rhythms of the year.