Hello there! I'm known around here as Harvey. I'm the Farm's resident groundhog. If we've never met, it's most likely because I do most of my work underground here at the Olde Fogie Farm.

Farmer Tom and I have several things in common, we both like to be busy in the fields and we are both tied up in the weather. He spends lots of time checking out the TV weather stations. He also has an electronic gizmo by his chair that enables him to check the temperature, humidity, and wind outside and inside without leaving his chair. Let me tell you, I've got to get one of those! If I want the latest stats, I have to head topside and sniff around for myself. But I do have one up on him and his fancy gadget: I decide the arrival of spring.

Yep, one day a year (February 2nd to be exact), I decide what kind of weather we will have for the next six weeks. I'm such a weather nut that mid-nap, I'll take a break from my heavy snoozing (some call it hibernation) and check the weather. Because I don't have a fancy chair-side weather gadget I have to get up and go take a look. If I see my shadow, there will be six more weeks of Winter. But if I see no scary shadow, we go right into Spring!

Actually, I'm not sure why it works that way. You'd think the opposite would happen: on a cloudy day I'd sleep in, and on a sunny day head out to play. But don't knock it — it's a proven weather fact.

My distant cousin Punxsutawney Phil (the most famous groundhog in Pennsylvania) has TV reporters on edge that very same day waiting for him to decree what will happen. Now, not all of us groundhogs are into the weather. Those of us who are, get together at the beginning of the year for our annual groundhog convention (we meet in an undisclosed location near Palm Springs, Florida) and decide what kind of spring it will be. The fun is keeping the secret until Groundhog day.

Aside from the big weather announcement, I keep myself busy with my other job as an excavator. In this pursuit, I find myself in constant battle with the Olde Fogie Farmer. He is so all-fired concerned that when Biz and he are baling hay she might sink a wagon tire in one of my housing projects and tip the whole wagon over. Maybe that's annoying, but I'll tell you what's really annoying: I'll finish a new home or a renovation and he comes along and destroys it!

One year he wheeled a very full water tank out to the field and emptied it down the back door of this nice split-level burrow of mine. Little did he realize I had moved out the week before and sold the place to a nice family of skunks. You should have seen the look on his face when they abandoned ship! Don't worry, I got busy and made that skunk family a dandy home in the next field over.

This year, I decide something else too. I say that the good people who like to come stay on the farm should pay the same rate in 2009 as they would have last year. They should get the same wonderful fun and relaxation, have the same great fun in the pond, enjoy the same wonderful resident pigs, turkeys, guineas, chickens, goats (Johnny, Patty and Petunia), Bubba the fish, along with cats and dogs and the other kids etcetera all for the same old price! All in all, its still good old-fashioned hospitality.

Oh, something did change. You good people hinted about it for some time... "time to get with it Biz." Well she finally did quit resisting having a credit card machine! But she left it up to Vicki to figure out how to use it. So now you can pick up the phone and make your reservation for 2009 with Visa, Mastercard, and personal check if you haven't already done that. The idea of making reservations with a credit card via the farm's website is way over their heads at this point, but I'll see what I can do.

Back to that huge responsibility on my shoulders: should I decree on February 2nd that we go right into Spring and get busy in the field? Or should I see my shadow and go back to bed for six more weeks of hibernation? You'll have to wait and see. But do drop by when you visit the farm and inspect my mining projects. You may even see a blue bird family. No, I didn't dig their home, the farmer built them one out of pine. I welcome the spirit of competition, but I think his is kind of boxy looking.

Bye for now, Harvey Groundhog


Hello Good People,
Harvey wrote the above letter from his winter sleeping chambers. He claims a bit of insomnia now and then, but after finishing the above, he rolled right over to catch some more ZZZZZZ's until the big announcement. We'll let you know all about it next time. See you then.

Yours naturally, Farmist Biz

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