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Feb. 2, demarcates the point in the calendar halfway between the winter solstice and spring equinox.
In simpler times, (prior to anthropogenic green-house gases causing climate change with the resulting unpredictability of atmospheric conditions) on this day — Groundhog Day — it would be up to the groundhog to partner with his shadow to determine the weather for the next six weeks.
Here in New Mexico, as many of you already know, we do not have groundhogs. Rather we have gophers. Los Alamos’ own rodent celebrity, the glow-in-the-dark gopher, Gus, will see his shadow.
Actually, he always sees his shadow, so just because he turns around and goes back into his hole, doesn’t mean winter will come. After all, since he glows in the dark, his shadow is always with him— and not just a shadow, but a complete X-ray.
The fact that Gus is in his hole doesn’t mean six more weeks of winter — he’s simply still busy burrowing through your lawn and garden and ripping up your tree roots. Besides, while wimpy Phil lives in a heated groundhog resort on Gobbler’s Knob, Gus lives beneath the radioactive-waste-filled barrels at TA-54 and eats the linings. Unlike Phil, Gus is a rodent’s rodent. Gus is not afraid of his shadow. He ain’t afraid of nothin’. After all, he’s a walking bomb.
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