Sunday, February 3, 2019

Punxsutawney Phil.

"Then put you're little hand in mine, there ain't no hill or mountain we can't climb..."

Well, the little bear rat in Pennsylvania didn't see a shadow, so supposedly we will have an early spring.  So that cold snap and light freeze I hoped for might not be in the cards.  Fingers still crossed.

An odd custom, tracing back to German traditions regarding Candlemas and the bear, then the badger.  Really it seems at some point, any hibernating mammal would have sufficed.

United States groundhog day itself dates back to the 1840s, with the round woodchuck in Pennsylvania identified as Punxsutawney Phil starting in 1886.  As weather forecasters go, this little rodent is either really good or pretty terrible.  Part of the problem is defining what an "early spring" means; depending on your definition, his accuracy is somewhere between 28% and 70%.

Phil has become an international film superstar thanks to the movie surrounding his holiday.  His co-stars had nothing but good things to say about working with him.*  This success has also translated into Broadway fame.  Shockingly, the  a wanted felon, with outstanding warrants for his arrest Butler County, Ohio, Merrimack, New Hampshire, and Monroe County, Pennsylvania dating back to 2013, 2015, and 2018, respectively.  For fraud, naturally.

Whatever your feelings on the groundhog, I must say, the Wikipedia article on Punxsutawney Phil is extremely entertaining.  It reads a bit like a defeated and sarcastic conspiracy theory gone awry.  Well worth a look.

*with Bill Murray's recent behavior, perhaps we could change the day to check to see if Mr. Murray sees his shadow and what his prognostication is.

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