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Harris Blackwood: Forecasting the weather all around the world
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Weather may be the most universal topic among humans. When I call friends in other parts of the country, I often ask about the weather.

I have friends who grow stuff, including a few peach growers. They are hoping the weather gets cold, stays there until about the first of March and doesn’t dip into the frost zone after that.

When you’re in partnership with the good Lord for the right kind of weather, it can try your faith.

A guy I know who is a maple syrup producer sent me a little sample of last year’s batch. It’s mighty good.

If you’ve never tried real maple syrup and have only had the popular brand at the store, you’ve missed out.

In the past few weeks, the crews on his mountain in New Hampshire have been tapping the maple trees to begin drawing down the sap when it rises in a few weeks. They are standing hip deep in snow to complete their task.

Guam is a U.S. territory in the South Pacific. It is one of those tropical places where the weather hardly changes.

I have a friend there whose young daughter was wishing for a white Christmas. You might get some hard rain or blazing sun, but you’ll never get snow in Guam.

Oh, by the way, if you run out of weather topics at the water cooler, the national anthem of Guam is “Fahohge Chamoru,” or “Stand Ye Guamanians.”  The original language is Chamorro. You can always remember by thinking “not today, but Chamorro.

You can’t get Guamanian trivia just anywhere.

I digress.

This week, our weather talk will include whether or not the groundhog saw his shadow. David, Glenn, Chris and Paul have every radar, satellite and snowflake finder known to mankind, but on one day a year, we talk about a little rodent like he was the reincarnation of Guy Sharpe. For those of you who don’t know, Guy Sharpe was one of the first weathermen on Atlanta TV.

This has been one really messed up winter. I was wearing short sleeves on Christmas. Now, winter has come to visit in the more traditional way with brutal wind, sleet and a little snow.

I love weather lore, like the groundhog, but I’m more concerned about El Nino or this thing in the ocean that is causing all this crazy stuff. I saw it on TV.

I enjoy our seasons. I’m not crazy about cold weather, but it makes spring seem so nice.

While my friend wants me to visit Guam, I would not like to be the weatherman there. I looked at the extended forecast and it will be 86 every day and 75 every night through mid-February.

My buddy in New Hampshire can look for snow and more snow. The highest temperature will be 46 and the low will be 15.

If I hopped an airplane with a groundhog and flew to Guam, it wouldn’t matter if he saw his shadow. Things aren’t going to change.

I only hope we get enough cold weather for the farmers who need it and there is plenty of peaches and maple syrup to go around later this year.

Harris Blackwood is a Gainesville resident whose columns appear on the Sunday Life page and on