Phil lives in Punxsutawney. You may have heard of him. A fuzzy critter who talks to guys that still dress in top hats and tells them how much winter there’s left every February 2nd. Phil even has his own web site (www.groundhog.org) and club. Heck, Bill Murray even starred in a movie about him. Every year his prediction is heard ’round the world amidst great celebration or angst. I put a lot of faith in Phil as I grew up. The predictions I wished for varied as I got older. Nowadays, I’m all for an early spring every year. Funny thing about ol’ Phil though. It always seemed his predictions were pretty hit and miss. I remember lots of years when those early springs consisted of lots of snow or those remaining weeks of winter were pretty nice. I came to realize that Phil has more of a good marketing team than he does a knack for weather prognostication. That’s why I’m going to try putting my faith in a new forecaster this year, the legendary Mr. Turtle.
Mr. Turtle doesn’t have any kind of club or celebration just yet, but I’m counting on him to tell me when spring arrives. I wondered what he was up to when he showed up last fall. I picked him up to see if he was dead, and he looked at me with glazed over eyes that said, “please let me sleep in peace.” He must have thought he picked a major thoroughfare to sleep in, so he moved on to another spot. I didn’t give him another thought until I found him again about a week later, asleep again. This time I thought better of picking him up and disturbing him. He hasn’t left his spot or moved all winter long and I check on him quite often to make sure he hasn’t moved on. I’m counting on him to let me know when it’s really spring. I figure Mr. Turtle isn’t going to get on with his life until it’s really spring. Besides, wouldn’t you rather trust a stately looking turtle versus a rodent whose cousins eat up all the plants in our gardens? So, when Mr Turtle moves, I’ll know it’s the first day of spring. Or he’s really dead this time. Regardless, I’ll be keeping tabs on him during these coming days and reporting on his activity, so check back often for Mr. Turtle’s authoritative prognostication of the first day of spring. You won’t want to miss it!