Adages & Groundhogs #MondayBlogs

ghI saw a breathtaking sunrise full of flaming color this past Saturday. I knew I could never do it justice by snapping a picture of it, so I just stood at the window and watched. And you know what thought went through my head?  Uh oh.

As a child, I’d heard the old adage Red sky in the morning, sailors take warning. Red sky as night, sailor’s delight. Back then, I wondered how the heck old sailors would know something like that without benefit of weathermen and science to tell them what’s what.

There are many sayings based upon observation and they’re found all over the world. Through observation, experience, and the passage of time, these sayings have become general truths which, more times than not, come to pass. Because we look for their symbolic meanings, these adages are divination tools of a different sort.
And so, the 2016 Symbol Series continues!

The few weather adages I know:

  • A ring around the sun or moon, means rain or snow is coming soon.
  • When leaves show their undersides, be very sure that rain betides.
  • Evening red and morning grey, two sure signs of one fine day.

Old farmer adages also ring true…

  • Plant when the oak leaves are the size of a squirrel’s ear.
  • The corn should be knee-high by the 4th of July.
  • Make hay while the sun shines.

A few other observations to divine with:

  • Few foxes this year mean more rabbits next year.
  • Gold fish and toads act strange before an earthquake
  • Thick coats on animals is a sure signal for cold winter.
  • Some people even look to woolly bear caterpillars for their forecast.

Throughout mankind’s time on earth, and especially with the advent of agriculture, people living close with their environment needed to know things– things like when to plant and harvest, when animals might be leaving their dens, and when weather might turn bad. They watched for subtle signs around them and deduced information from their observations. Example: If winter hibernating animals were suddenly making an appearance, you knew spring was officially in the air.

Funny thing about spring– it has a mind of its own. Sometimes spring is very much underway in March, sometimes winter pushes us all the way to June. That hit or miss observation led to a long-held tradition here in the states.

Hint #1:
It originated with German farmers and the first recorded reference of it turns up in 1841.
Hint#2: A movie was made where actor Bill Murray was stuck in it until he became a better person.

Have you guessed it?

Divination by groundhog.

On February 2, 1887, in Punxsutawney Pennsylvania,  several businessmen and groundhog philhunters met at Gobbler’s Knob. Businessmen and groundhog hunters. Were they business men who also hunted groundhogs, or groundhog hunters meeting up with businessmen on Gobbler’s Knob? The world may never know.
Anyway…they called themselves the Punxsutawney Groundhog Club and they met because they had a publicity stunt in mind.

To great fanfare, they rudely woke a hibernating groundhog to see if he saw his shadow. The idea was if the little guy did see it, he’d be frightened that winter was still upon him and return to his burrow to sleep until spring. Of course this would mean winter would last as long as winter generally lasts at that point on the calendar — another six weeks.
But, if the groundhog wanted to sniff around and eat, then his hibernation period was ending anyway and winter was officially over. This annual stunt is based upon an old country German observation regarding animals leaving their dens early.

Tomorrow is the big day. In my area we are expecting snow, ice, and rain in the forecast. In Punxsutawney Phil’s neck of the woods, they have clouds slated for February 2nd. I think the groundhog will say we’re going to have an early spring. I say leave the little guy alone. Still, I’m ready for spring.

Tomorrow ~ More!


Words Worth Msnowman-mdentioning for January

For some, pleasure is a fever they can’t shake. For others, it’s a disease they cannot seem to catch.”
~Terri Guillemets

RB4U goldSMallAuthors and Industry representatives all month long.

Our January contest is on! Prizes often include $100 in gift cards for Amazon/B&N, ebooks, print books, audiobooks, additional gift cards, and non-book items.


About ~RoseAnderson

Rose Anderson is an award-winning author and dilettante who loves great conversation and delights in discovering interesting things to weave into stories. Rose also writes under the pen name Madeline Archer.
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