Groundhog Day is a custom observed in Canada (where I live) and in the United States. Usually it is only a piece of news chatter for me, but this year when I realize it is on Saturday (February 2) and I remember that photos I took on Friday feature long shadows, my interest is piqued. I took pictures in the morning when the sun was rising and shadows were long.
And this is what Groundhog Day is about: predicting spring based on sun and shadows in early February. The notion is that halfway between winter solstice (December 20) and spring equinox (March 20) a groundhog emerges out of his den to check the weather. If he sees his shadow, the prediction is for a long bout of cold weather, and not seeing his shadow means an early arrival of warmer weather. Whether or not any of this makes sense, the good news around here is that Groundhog Day was cloudy, the groundhog didn’t see his shadow and warmer weather will come soon.