The consensus is in from North America's more famous of groundhogs, and after being rousted from their resting places for yet another year, the groundhog decision desk has declared that six more weeks of winter are on the horizon.
Eastern Canada's Shubenacadie Sam, and Wiarton Willie as well as America's most famous of ground dwellers Punxsutawney Phil all apparently saw their shadows on Tuesday, leading us as the folk lore of the day dictates into another month and a half of winter.
However, the ancient prognosticators are finding that not all rodents agree, from the west comes word that one groundhog sniffed the clear Alberta air and offered a dissenting opinion with Balzac Billy divining that winter is all but done.
Easterners were still waiting for word from British Columbia and the word of Muk Muk the marmot, though their wait may be lengthy, as it seems that the marmot's sleep cycle is very much laid back west coast, such that short of blasting one out of a hole, they'll still be in restful slumber for the next little while.
Organizers of the Vancouver Olympics may find a bit of dismay in the decisions today from the Western branch, what with snow and cool temperatures kind of an important ingredient to the Olympic games and all. Best to line up some more dump trucks to bring in the snow as things look!
Still, the groundhogs have spoken (well squealed most likely much to the distress of PETA), so we won't find a quarrel with the western representative of the Groundhog Union, allowing our Eastern partners on the continent the pleasure of six more weeks of shoveling, slippery roads and wintry conditions.