Today is Gopher Day 2010. School was canceled due to yesterday's snow, and the day started out with below freezing temperatures. Sounds like it would be a great day for the first official Gopher Day, right?
Early this morning, I sent Digby from Grandpa's Attic, through the vent shaft and out onto the mountain top where he would prognosticate about the weather to come. Simple enough, wouldn't you think?
Then, I stepped outside and looked at the cliff above the house, fully expecting to see a pot-bellied gopher trampling around in the snow looking for his shadow. I was all goose-bumpy with excitement to see what he would do, and to get year one of my Gopher Day record-keeping logged.
I figured since Punxsutawney Phil is right only 39% of the time, surely, Digs could do better.
And what did I see high on the cliff? Nothing! Digby was nowhere to be found. My favorite tunnel-digger had shirked his duties and must have high-tailed it (literally) off that mountain top, like a firewalker who suddenly realized he could feel the heat of the coals. What a waste of a perfectly good morning.
Now you see, this is exactly why I prefer the scientific method to unproven, untenable, rodent observation as a means of forecasting coming weather trends. (Like I didn't know where this was going when I thought it up.)
I guessed Digby was protesting our little "exercise." I'm sure he felt that no self-respecting gopher would allow himself to be reduced to emulating a groundhog, of all things. Digs can be overly dramatic sometimes, but I suppose he has to make up for not being able to speak. So, I'm good with that.
I returned to the house and found the little fur ball hiding out with Grandpa and watching, of course, The Weather Channel. There sat Digby, perched snuggly on the headrest of Grandpa's recliner, as settled in as if he'd been there all night. The furry pockets of his cheeks were bulging with popcorn, perfectly framing Digby's big Cheshire gopher grin.
Grandpa said Digby had scampered into the house and pawed through the DVD rack until he found what he was looking for. Grandpa held up a copy of National Lampoon's Vacation that Digby had dragged over to him. "Looks like Digby is predicting early spring and summer," he said.
Sure, I thought. Or, he wants to go to an amusement park. Gosh, even the groundhog was more scientific than that!
I've decided it's better to stick to science. I think we should start "Weather Channel Day." And we can make it occur every day! I'll take a Jim Cantore one-week forecast over a furry ground rodent's six-week prediction anytime. For me, science rules!
But, for the record, Digby's first official Gopher Day prognostication is for an early spring.
We shall see . .