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As I See It

Groundhog Day – Punxsutawney Phil

Groundhog day is upon us.  Yes, in the early morning of Feb 2, visitors from all over the world will join the gentlemen of the “Inner Circle,” head to Gobblers’ Knob and wait for Punxsutawney Phil, (named after King Phillip,) to peek his head out of his burrow.


When he appears, and his little eyes become adjusted to the light, he will look for his shadow for the rest of the day.  If he sees it, speaking in “Groundhogese” of course, he will tell the the “Inner Circle,” president there will be six more weeks of winter weather and he will return to his burrow to sleep it off. If it’s overcast, and he does not detect his own shadow, he will tell the president, “Spring is around the corner.” He will then join the celebration.

This bit of “folk humor” began in Germany as early as 1841.  Pennsylvania’s earliest settlers brought with them the legend of Candlemas Day, which states,  “For as the sun shines on Candlemas Day, so far will the snow swirl in May.”

However, the first official Punxsutawaney trek to Gobblers’ Knob began in 1887.  Did you know… Punxsutawney Phil is the only true weather forecasting groundhog?  All others are impostors. How often is Phil’s prediction correct?  100% of the time…yes indeed!

Phil is over 120 years old, due to the fact that he drinks an “elixir of life” at the summer Groundhog picnic.  In 1993, Phil Punxsutawney starred in his own movie, “Groundhog Day” with Bill Murray.  He visited President Reagan at the White House and has been a guest on the Oprah Winfrey TV show.

No joke folks, this is for real.  The town of Punxsutawaney, is geared up for this celebration. Not only are they prepared for an influx of thousands of visitors, but special provisions have been made for the members of the media.  Designated parking and press areas are available for those covering the event.

Because automobiles are not allowed at the site, beginning at 4:30 a.m. through 6:30 a.m., guests will board buses that will take them directly to Gobblers’ Knob where they will join the “Inner Circle,” to wait for Phil’s appearance and prediction.  If attendance is not possible, a video feed of the event is provided by the state of Pennsylvania.

TALLEY TO DATE: Saw Shadow: 96 times.   No Shadow: 15   No record: 9

GROUNDHOG FACTS:

Appearance: Course grayish hair, short ears, short tail – about 20″ long and weighs about 15 lbs.  (Phil weighs 22 lbs. –  22″ long)
Diet: Lots of greens, fruits and veggies and very little water. Liquid comes from dewy leaves.
Hibernation: Deep coma, body temp. drops to a few degrees above freezing, the heart barely beats, and breathing nearly stops.
Family: They whistle when they begin courting. Babies are born in mid-April or May.  Litter is 4 to 9.  Baby is called a kit or a cub.
Life Span: Normally 6 to 8 years.  Plague resistant because they are so clean.

Well,  There you have it!  All I know is…. he’d better not see his shadow.  I’m tired of winter and sick of
shoveling snow.

Till later,

Kathy Griffiths
Insightful Nana

PS.  Guess What!  I’ll be shoveling snow for the next six weeks.  Phil peeked out of his burrow this morning and saw his shadow.  Darn!