While the villagers waited anxiously in the snow at Gobbler's Knob, Pa., to see Punxsutawney Phil's weather prediction for the next six weeks, Hilton Head Island residents, day-trippers and guests were enjoying 76 degrees of dappled sunshine through veils of Spanish moss and live oak branches.
Who needs a groundhog?
Certainly not us.
We aren't really concerned with almanacs or the shadows, whether they be of groundhog or alligator. We know the balmy days can come and go and we're prepared.
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I spent Groundhog Day with my beagle Sam, walking down in Point Comfort. Even though it was February, I wore a tee-shirt and swung a poop-bag while Sam wore the same old coat and stopped long enough to snort through the pine straw.
Despite what the calendar said, it could have been a fine spring day along the bay, especially if you saw the charter boat Outside Angler dangling a few rods, soaking up the rays, and generally acting the part of ship on spring break.
Meanwhile in Poughkeepsie, Providence, Pittsburgh, and Punxsatawney, it's the middle of winter, the season of cabin fever, woeful thoughts, month-long blocks of sub-arctic temperatures and runs on space heaters.
Not here. We are still opening the windows in the afternoon to let a breeze in -- or the door to let Sam out.
Not that we're above complaining about those few and far between days when it's actually below 50 degrees. We curse the light frost along the tips of the green turf blades of the golf course or blow warm breath on our hands as we lift your tennis racket from it's zippered coat.
It never lasts very long.
Our weather predictors are boats and dogs. Like I said, who needs a ground hog?.
The only shadows we see are the shadows of a coming spring.
Carmen Hawkins De Cecco lives on Hilton Head Island. She blogs at hiltonheadblogangel.me.