Monday, February 2, 2009

Punxsutawney Phil Sees Shadow: Six More Weeks of Winter

The world’s most famous groundhog saw his shadow Monday morning, predicting that this already long winter will last for another six more weeks, according to the Associated Press.

I wonder with a cold winter already on the east coast was there any question that winter would continue for another six weeks? Did they need a groundhog to tell them it would?

What is the magic of this groundhog being able to predict what the next six weeks will hold? According to German superstition, if a hibernating animal casts a shadow on Feb 2 - the Christian holiday of Candlemas - winter will last another six weeks. If no shadow is seen, legend says, spring will come early.

Since 1887, this little groundhog named Phil, has seen his shadow 97 times, hasn’t seen it 15 times and there are no records for nine years.

My paternal family line is from Pennsylvania and they lived near Gobbler’s Knob, a tiny hill in Punxsutawney, 65 mile northeast of Pittsburgh. My paternal grandmother, born in 1904 used to share stories with us of the local townspeople and farmers who would hope for an early spring and were quite disappointed when Phil predicated that winter would continue. After the family moved to California in the 1950’s she would give her sympathies to no-one in particular, but thinking of the remaining family having to endure more winter weather.

Dear Reader: Where are you living? How cold or warm is the weather in your local area?


  1. Love your new blog, Becky! Cold. Really cold. It's so cold I forgot what summer is like and it wasn't that long ago. Or was it?

  2. We are cold and wet. But it's NC, so that will change by this afternoon.

    And thank you for remembering me! I'm actually gearing up for another round of virtual stops this spring.

  3. It's warm and dry here in Texas during the day. But the nights are at or below freezing.

  4. I'm in the Melbourne suburbs and it was well above 100F for most if not all of the week. It reached something like 112. And it didn't cool down at night.

    Thankfully things are tolerable this week.

  5. Interesting Blog--enjoyed reading it. Weather here is mild at the moment, sunny, around 45 at 9 a.m. We're expecting rain though and colder temps. We need the rain. From Southern CA.



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