Forest Journal: Talkin' Groundhog Day with Middleton Maury
"Right," I said. "Groundhog Day. Predicting when winter will end and all that."
He nodded sagely. Or maybe parsley, and in a thymely fashion. He had eaten all my herbs last summer.
He stretched his face, looking like Dustin Pedroia stepping into the batter's box.
"But to answer your question, reporters call looking for predictions about all kinds of things, Maury. How will our forests adapt to climate change? Will there be enough wood for generating renewable energy? How will development sprawl impact the ability of our forests to keep our rivers clean and cool for drinking water and fish habitat? And, of course, the big question," I said.
"Oh that," he said, rolling his rodent eyes. "That's easy, compared to predicting how many more weeks of winter. My cousin Sugar Hill Phil knows all about it."
"Sugar Hill Phil knows what any groundhog with common sense knows," Maury said. "He knows that whether you're a woodchuck or a private transmission line developer, the only way you're going to survive is to burrow underground. There's nothing but trouble overhead."
The sun, low in the sky, came out from behind the clouds, casting long shadows behind Maury and me. He paused, cocked his head and closed one eye, taking a measure of the shadow.
And down his hole he went.
"Forest Journal" appears every other week in the New Hampshire Sunday News. Jack Savage is the editor of Forest Notes: New Hampshire's Conservation Magazine, published by the Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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