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Chattanooga Chuck

Posted Saturday, February 2, 2013, at 10:19 AM

Chattanooga Chuck
The Tennessee Aquarium in Chattanooga has been trying to promote its own groundhog, "Chattanooga Chuck," as an alternative to Punxsutawney Phil for our part of the country. We received this news release today:

Chattanooga Chuck's 2013 Forecast

On the second day of February I'm put to the test.

A diligent groundhog always strives for the best.

Forecasting weather takes skill and a bit of good luck.

To determine if we need sandals or a pair of muk-luks.

My Aquarium pals always help with this chore.

Groundhogs aren't the only critters with weather folklore.

I first checked with my friend, little "Blinky" the owl.

If he hoots and hollers, the weather turns foul.

Giant catfish are barometers or something akin.

A cold winter is coming if they have really thick skin.

The American lobster was moving around in full view.

That's a sure sign of springtime if the folklore is true.

I stopped by a waterfall to observe all the trout.

When they refuse bait, a storm is about.

An urchin forecasts bad weather or so it's been said,

if he thrusts into the mud like an ostrich burying its head.

I stopped to listen for any frogs that were croakin'.

If they speak three times, then winter has broken.

Parrots and sharks, butterflies and stingrays

All have weather proverbs, but they don't have a day.

So it's up to this Groundhog to be weatherwise,

I'll trust in my senses and just use my eyes.

I've searched high and low and what did I see?

Something seems to be missing, a shadow of me.

Many people will celebrate and some start to sing,

'cuz Chattanooga Chuck predicts....an early spring!

For more about the aquarium's "storm team," go to http://www.tnaqua.org/PlanYourVisit/Stor... .

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I hope he gets good wages.

There is a lot of good folklore in the news release. I am not sure how they check the thickness of a catfish's skin, but it does not sound like a job for which any would volunteer.

I find my mother-in-law's arthritis and a rock to do about as well as most weather forecasters in predicting sunny days or rain with the sunrise, sunsets.

Trees and flags are good for wind but temp is just a personal thing.

-- Posted by stevemills on Sun, Feb 3, 2013, at 10:23 AM

Should be a law against dragging a sleepy hibernating groundhog out of it's burrow, during freezing weather. They could at least put on a thick wool sweater and give it a double cheeseburger with fries. I can tell by it's expression that it could care less about the arrival of spring. It's probably wondering where and what happened to the cute groundhog it went to sleep with last fal.

-- Posted by Grits on Sun, Feb 3, 2013, at 7:37 PM

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John I. Carney
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John I. Carney is city editor of the Times-Gazette.
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