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Old 02-02-2019, 06:40 AM   #1
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1887 First Groundhog Day

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, it gets scared and runs back into its burrow, predicting six more weeks of winter weather; no shadow means an early spring.

Groundhog Day has its roots in the ancient Christian tradition of Candlemas, 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.

Groundhogs, also called woodchucks and whose scientific name is Marmota monax, typically weigh 12 to 15 pounds and live six to eight years. They eat vegetables and fruits, whistle when they’re frightened or looking for a mate (they’re sometimes called whistle pigs) and can climb trees and swim.

They go into hibernation in the late fall; during this time, their body temperatures drop significantly, their heartbeats slow from 80 to five beats per minute and they can lose 30 percent of their body fat. In February, male groundhogs emerge from their burrows to look for a mate (not to predict the weather) before going underground again. They come out of hibernation for good in March.

In 1887, a newspaper editor belonging to a group of groundhog hunters from Punxsutawney called the Punxsutawney Groundhog Club declared that Phil, the Punxsutawney groundhog, was America’s only true weather-forecasting groundhog. 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.

In 1993, the movie Groundhog Day starring Bill Murray popularized the usage of “groundhog day” to mean something that is repeated over and over. Today, tens of thousands of people converge on Gobbler’s Knob in Punxsutawney each February 2 to witness Phil’s prediction. The Punxsutawney Groundhog Club hosts a three-day celebration featuring entertainment and activities.
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Old 02-02-2019, 06:43 AM   #2
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The results are in: On Groundhog Day 2019, Punxsutawney Phil could not find his shadow. And as the legend goes, this means we're in for an early spring.

The Pennsylvania groundhog isn't the only weather-predicting rodent in this quirky American tradition, but he is the most famous. And according to the Punxsutawney Groundhog Club, his opinion is the only one that matters.

This is only the 19th time out of 123 in his recorded history (there are 10 years where no record remains) that Phil hasn't been able to find his shadow.

Even so, Phil is usually wrong, and meteorologists aren't too sure Phil's suspicions are right either.
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Old 02-02-2019, 07:52 AM   #3
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We have Jimmy the Groundhog in our area. If he urinates on a libtard mayor we will have six weeks of joy.

My wife and sister went to the festivities today. Personally, they like the little rodent, but probably like the city breakfast more.
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Old 02-02-2019, 11:33 AM   #4
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My understanding is that for the Punxsutawney festivities, the drinking begins with a stiff tot before dawn and continues all day. Might be worth going just for that reason.
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Old 02-02-2019, 01:09 PM   #5
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Our Lancaster Co. varmint was from Quarryville:

Slumbering Groundhog Lodge - in honor of Quarryville's Octoraro Orphie.

From Colerain Township, Lancaster County, Pennsylvania website -The Slumbering Groundhog Lodge of Quarryville, Pennsylvania was founded on Groundhog Day, February 2, 1908 by George W. Hensel, Jr. The big boss is a fuzzy buck-toothed creature named "Orphie"; and he has the unique ability to forecast an early or late spring with the help of his shadow. Honorary members of the lodge include Sir Winston Churchill, Harry S. Truman, Dwight D. Eisenhower, and J. Edgar Hoover. The purpose of the club is for members to throw away worries, cares, and woes and have a good laugh at themselves.

Oh yeah, I think they might have a drink or two also; it can get pretty cold in PA in February.
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Old 02-02-2019, 01:10 PM   #6
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When I was a kid growing up in Ohio we always listen to see if Phil saw his shadow. As a kid we believed,as today,if he saw his shadow there would be six more weeks of winter. Being he didn’t we’ll see what happens.
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Old 02-02-2019, 03:47 PM   #7
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We like the groundhog around here. Very common. We had two living in our backyard for awhile. My wife and I moved into our newly built home on Ground Hog Day, twenty six years ago today. All that day we would call out "it's ground hog day!" as we moved furniture

Also one of Bill Murry's best and funniest movies, IMHO .
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Old 02-03-2019, 06:50 AM   #8
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For those that know their movie trivia, Woodstock Illinois is where the movie Groundhog Day was filmed. Yesterday, they continue the fun and notoriety associated with this day.

For the record, the Woodstock, ILL groundhog did not see his shadow either. Two wrongs don't make a right, but we will see what happens.

For the record, I did have a Groundhog burger at a local establishment, and a couple of breakfast stouts to brace myself against the bitter 39 degrees.
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Old 02-05-2019, 12:54 PM   #9
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Exclamation General Beauregard Lee-Georgia Groundhog

For the record, Punxatawany Phil is a loser! His predictions have been incorrect for most of the time that they have been tracked. However, General Beauregard Lee, of the Dauset Trails Nature Center in Jackson, Georgia has a better prediction record. Beau predicted Atlanta weather with 50 percent accuracy. Phil got Punxsutawney’s right 40 percent of the time, at best.

By analysis, Beau’s staff may have overestimated his success, but he’s still 10 to 30 percentage points ahead of Phil. Georgia’s underhog is the champion, paws down.

This year, Beau saw his shadow and there will be 6 more weeks of winter. You can take that to the bank!!


Below is a fitting end for Punxsutawney Phil:


So Long, Phil!!
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