Groundhog Day – A Furry History and 2015 Predictions

Dear Readers:

Happy Groundhog Day! Oh, and welcome to another cold wintery edition of our blog post here at L Think Crew. I thought I would talk a little bit about the history of the groundhog and what’s in store for winter 2015.

A Woodchuck Kind of History
Groundhogs, or woodchucks, go into hibernation over the winter months and typically emerge in March. The tradition of finding out whether a groundhog could see its shadow comes from two historical sources – the Christian tradition of Candlemas with priests handing out blessed candles to predict how long winter would be, and Germans using the hedgehog to predict weather. Fast forward a few hundred years and the first Groundhog Day was celebrated in 1887 at Gobbler’s Knob in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania.

The Furry Predictions For 2015
As for the predictions in 2015, there were mixed results. Some of our furry friends coming out of their burrow, saw his shadow, and predicted six more weeks of winter (shout outs to: Nova Scotia’s Shubenacadie Sam and Pennsylvania’s Punxsutawney Phil). Other woodchucks disagreed with this assessment by refusing to acknowledge their shadow and thus predicting an early spring (huzzah to: Wiarton, Ont.’s Wiarton Willie and Winnipeg Willow).  So, who do you want to believe?

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How's the weather, eh?

How’s the weather, eh?

Dear Readers:

Why are Canadians so obsessed with the weather? Do we have a desire to learn more about the polar vortex, or perhaps we simply can’t think of any other ‘small talk’ to fill our time?  I don’t think so!

Canadians have every right to rant and indulge in exchanges about the weather with our large, diverse country and their varying weather patterns. According to The Weather Network, we are the ‘weather weenies’ of the world” with Canadian media running 229% more weather coverage than anywhere else in the world. So, why do we do it?

Extreme weather
While our friends in Florida enjoy nice sunny skies, most of Canada has cold winter temperatures that can vary from 5 to -30C in most mainstream areas. (This only includes normal winter weather and not more ‘extreme’ conditions that we seem to have faced over the last few years).  Then, there’s the components of cold weather – ice, snow, black ice, slush, and more – than can lead to dangerous conditions. This has led to a habit of scanning the news for weather conditions to stay safe!

Conversation starter
The cold weather is a great conversation starter. Do you find yourself talk about this frosty topic (ok, pun intended here!) with your friends over hot coffee? Or perhaps you are comparing your geographic locations and the varying weather with your colleagues over a conference call? It’s a simple way to connect and create connections without trying too hard.

Love to hate cold weather
Canadians seem to be in their element (excuse the pun!) in cold weather.  It is a part of our identity. We can brag about how cold our winter was, or how many days without power we went due to a recent ice storm, over other Canadian regions. To learn more about the sociology behind this, check out this article.

Stay warm and let’s continue our conversation about…the weather!

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