Feb 1, 2012

No country for groundhogs

At first glance, Groundhog Day seems like a bad fit for the south peninsula.

The holiday is a hold over from the continental north.

Could this be a groundhog gathering spot?

The ceremonial release of the groundhog coincides with winter's midpoint as a hopeful reminder amid the bare-branched gloom that the green of spring (and eventually warmth) is not far away. But winters in Florida are summer-like and (thanks to the palm trees and other ornamental shrubs) irrepressibly green.

Visiting northerners are skeptical that Florida winter even exists.


Bitter cold for a south Floridian is any day that air temp doesn't rise above 70° F.  That's only happened under ten times in Naples of all winter ...

Or whatever it's called.

The winter half of the year is called the dry season:
During which you see your shadow almost every day.

Thus, can't we assume south Florida is winter and Groundhog Day free?

Not so fast: consider that although "Winter the noun" does not exist in Florida it is safe to say that "winter the verb" --  i.e. "we winter in Florida to escape the snow" -- is alive and well. It is in the same spirit then that can't we also say that although Groundhog Day the holiday doesn't exist in Florida the metaphorical Groundhog Day of one day after the other being the exact same (day after day after day), i.e. blue sky and lots of sun, does.


As for real groundhogs?

Suffice it say they wouldn't fare well in the Everglades or Swamp. That's because pythons are on the loose eating every small mammal they can find.  (read article)

Groundhogs wouldn't stand a chance
in python country

The python northern limit is the frost line, i.e. "real winter."

Thus, if I were a groundhog I'd play it safe and look for my shadow up there.


All of a sudden cold doesn't sound so bad!

3 comments:

Lynda said...

...and all their burrows fill with water due to high water table. Sigh.

Robert Sobczak said...

Good point!

Janie said...

I just read an article about the python threat to mammals in Florida. Interesting, but very scary to groundhogs.