Happy Groundhog Day!!! – Redux (again)

This is a repeat of my 2017 Groundhog Day post.  I considered writing a new one, but after I read this one, and it even made me laugh, I figured I couldn’t come up with anything better, so why re-invent the wheel, eh?  If you remember this from last year, or the year before, or the year before … pretend you don’t and read it again, laugh again, okay?  We need to find humour these days …


“Ground Hog Day is tomorrow. We’re the only country that accepts weather predictions from a rodent, and denies climate change facts by scientists.” – Alt-NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration)

ghd-3Good morning!  Today is a very special day, so I am setting aside my usual fare for this morning’s post to pay due respect and homage to none other than Pennsylvania’s own … {drumroll} … {applause} … Punxsutawney Phil!!!!  A brief summary of the legend and the history for my friends across the pond who may not know about Phil:

On this day in 1887, Groundhog Day, featuring a rodent meteorologist, is celebrated for the first time at Gobbler’s Knob in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania. According to tradition, if a groundhog comes out of its hole on this day and sees its shadow, there will be six more weeks of winter weather; no shadow means an early spring.

ghd-5Groundhog Day has its roots in the ancient Christian tradition of Candlemas Day, when clergy would bless and distribute candles needed for winter. The candles represented how long and cold the winter would be. Germans expanded on this concept by selecting an animal–the hedgehog–as a means of predicting weather. Once they came to America, German settlers in Pennsylvania continued the tradition, although they switched from hedgehogs to groundhogs, which were plentiful in the Keystone State.

The line of groundhogs that have since been known as Phil might be America’s most famous groundhogs, but other towns across North America now have their own weather-predicting rodents, from Birmingham Bill to Staten Island Chuck to Shubenacadie Sam in Canada.

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According to the Weather Channel, the forecast in Punxsutawney is a high chance of cloudy skies, and even a chance of a flurry or two. According to the legend, this means an early spring is ahead. For the record, Punxsutawney Phil has only been accurate 39% of the time since 1887.

I used to say that Groundhog Day was my favourite holiday, mostly because it did not require a lot of effort on my part … no huge meal to cook, no presents to buy and wrap, no tree to decorate or lights to string.

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I happened across a humorous piece I thought you might enjoy.  Scott Feschuk, a Canadian speechwriter, humourist and former newspaper journalist, wrote this satire piece after hearing Trump’s rather ridiculous speech on black history.  It is his take on what a speech by Trump to commemorate Groundhog Day might be like:

“Well, this is Groundhog Day, so these are just a few little notes I want to share with you. On this day, we honour the tremendous history of groundhogs throughout our country. Throughout the world, if you really think about it, right? Because that’s where groundhogs are and where they live. Here but also there. Everywhere, really, except not exactly everywhere but almost.

Mostly in the ground though, on or it, or in the vicinity – which is why we call them that. Groundhogs. Right there in the name.

They’re incredible animals and their incredible example is unique in many ways. So many unique ways that honestly there’s no point in me examining any of them in any detail. We all know. We all know bigly.

You’ve all heard about groundhogs. They are well known and people know about them. We have some good ones. We have the one from that place in Pennsylvania and we have other ones and we have the one from that golf movie with one of the Ghostbusters. There are others. Many others that we all know, and I also know them.

The groundhog from the movie Groundhog Day is an example of a groundhog who’s done an amazing job and is being recognized more and more, I noticed. Big impact. But all groundhogs – big impact on the seasons and the changing of the seasons. There are several seasons and we all know what they are.

I do very well with groundhogs, by the way, not that you’d know from CNN which is fake news and disgraceful. But I do substantially better than others have done. They hear me talk about underground life—it’s horrible, life is short, you can get killed by a wolf on the way to pick up an acorn. They hear me and they love me.

The groundhog is cherished. I am very proud of the fact that people in America can learn about groundhogs, and many other things. And they can learn about their many, many accomplishments, which we celebrate on this day, which is why it is called Groundhogs Day and is so special.

I’m proud to honour our groundhog heritage and will be honouring it more and more. Like I said before, a groundhog is an animal—much like a fox is also an animal. And Fox News has treated me very nice. Wherever Fox is, thank you.

Omarosa saw a groundhog once.” 

So there you have it.  Everything you always wanted to know about Groundhog Day and more!  For the record, though I am not a cute, furry little animal that lives in holes in the ground, my prediction is that the sun has taken a permanent vacation.  Here, we have had exactly one sunny day since January 20th.  One.  Just ONE!  I think the sun came out, saw something evil, and went back behind the clouds for protection.

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23 thoughts on “Happy Groundhog Day!!! – Redux (again)

  1. I daresay that a good post, much like a good quote, bears repeating…this one most certainly proves that! I recall reading this for the first time last year, having not been a follower in 2017 or early 2018, and meant to comment at a later time and failed to do so. I do however recall a later post about the star of today and my commenting there. So, yet again, it appears that it is necessary to allow my Propensity for Loquacity to wander freely where and when it will…two days in a row! I will begin with a bit of history about how the 1800’s German immigrants to Pennsylvania brought their Candlemas legends and practices with them. In Germany it was a badger that was consulted as to the arrival of Spring. Finding no badgers the groundhog, also known as a woodchuck, was given the job. Groundhogs go into hibernation in late Fall. They come out in February making them an ideal replacement. Groundhogs appear in Feb., not to predict Spring but to look for a mate, only to return underground again until emerging for the warmer seasons in March. The first Groundhog Day appeared in a Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania’s local newspaper in 1886 the same time as the formation of the Punxsutawney Groundhog Club. On Feb. 2, 1887 the first official trek led by the Club leaders to Gobbler’s Knob to seek Phil’s forecast began a tradition that has only grown larger over the years. But allow me to wander away from Phil for a moment to mention that Feb 2nd is also tied to the Earth’s movement around the sun. In the Northern Hemisphere this date traditionally marks the midpoint between the Winter Solstice in December and the Spring Equinox in March. I’ll wander a bit farther away from Phil and add that yesterday was the celebration of Imbolc which predates Groundhog Day by centuries. The Feb.1st Imbolc is one of the Gaelic festivals : the others being Samhain on Nov. 1st, Beltane on May 1st, and Lughnasadh on August 1st. The Celtic festival of the Fertility Goddess Brigantia, associated with dawn and spring, was one of the pagan celebrations that merged with Christian ones. Over time Brigantia became intertwined with Saint Brigid of Kildare effectively merging Imbolc with Saint Brigid’s Day on February 1st. But let us return to Phil, who most likely resides in a luxurious burrow, found in the borough of Punxsutawney which is located northeast of Pittsburgh on the western side of Pennsylvania. A groundhog’s lifespan in the wild is about 6 years with an average of only 2-3 years, whilst in captivity they may live for 14 years. Even considering Phil’s captivity, nice as it may be, there have been many Phil’s over the past 134 years. It is also a fact that Phil appears every Feb. 2nd not by choice but by human intervention, hence the need for that Club member wearing heavily padded gloves. As a native Pennsylvanian, I grew up thoroughly immersed in the tradition of celebrating Groundhog Day. Along with my eldest sibling, it was our childhood wish to travel from northeastern Pa. to Gobbler’s Knob for the event. Not that we had not seen a groundhog, Gram’s farm was home to many of the vegetable garden ruining critters. But Phil was not the garden variety groundhog, he was the harbinger of Spring and had to be witnessed in action. Gram was fully on board and convinced my Father of the merits of the long car trip. She succeeded by emphasizing the educational value of the trip…though in truth, I know she just wanted to go too as she had never done so. That trip in the mid 1950’s was the first of several others that came to include each of the following siblings. I repeated that with my Son when he was 5 and 7 years of age whilst still residing in Pa. and later traveled three times from R.I. to Gobbler’s Knob with all three of my children. It has been many years since my last visit and I think that 2021 should be Benjamin’s year! He received a new T-shirt and their new book “The Night Before Groundhog Day” the last Monday in January. These were purchased from the “Punxsutawney Groundhog Club” website. Thank-you! P.S. Phil predicted an early Spring, I hope this time he is correct!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Why … thank you, my friend! As always, I am thrilled by your P for L, and the history lesson as well! Figures that the whole thing revolved around finding a mate, doesn’t it? With only 6 years to live, I can see why he doesn’t want to waste any time, though! And, you have multiple times visited Punxsutawney Phil!!! I am so jealous! I do so hope you get to take Benjamin in 2021! I may be able to meet up with you there, for I’ve a strong desire to meet both Phil, and you & Benjamin! And, it isn’t that far from Ohio! Thank you so much for sharing your own connection, and for your P for L which I always treasure!

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    • Oops … those must have been a couple of rogue horses, then. My profound apologies to all other horses ’round the globe! (Please don’t sue me … as my late-ex used to say, you can’t get blood out of a turnip)
      Cwtch

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  2. Thank you for sharing and a Happy Ground Hog day!!.. unfortunately for here on the prairies one of the rare days of sunshine for the winter happens to occur today… hopefully the ground hog won’t see its shadow… 🙂

    Whatever the climate (environment, politics, etc.), hope all your tomorrows are filled with sunshine, peace, love and happiness and life is all that you wish for it to be!.. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    • The sun actually found its way out from the clouds today and it was a beautiful thing! I figured I should take my van for fuel, given that the sun was shining … everybody else figure the same as me! Looonnnnng lines at the gas station, but I filled the van, so I’m good for another 3-4 months! (Needless to say, I don’t travel far or often!)

      Thanks Dutch … have a great week!

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