CAROLYN'S COMPOSITIONS

January 29, 2010

Groundhogs and Punxsutawney Phil

CAROLYN’S COMPOSITIONS

GROUNDHOGS AND PUNXSUTAWNEY PHIL

     Don’t be surprised when the neighborhood groundhogs (doesn’t every neighborhood have one, two, three or four?)—thought long gone in the late fall, their burrows far too close to the house, backfilled—suddenly awake, emerge and begin foraging for fuel.

     Yes, all the signs are here—it will be an early spring.#

     However, the official word on whether it will be an early spring will not be made by the observations of Colin McNickle, journalist, but by Punxsutawney Phil. On Groundhog Day.

(To view illustration click on:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/beaneryonlineliterarymagazine/2493962362/ )

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Read the 2015 article: Groundhog Day Recipes & Pictures

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Additional reading: 11 Facts About Groundhog’s Day (Feb. 2)

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     The sixth century. That’s how far back the roots of the Groundhog Day celebration extend.

     Groundhog Day is associated with Christianity’s Candlemas Day, the day that candles used throughout the year are blessed. It is the mid-point of winter, the mid-point between the Winter Solstice and the Spring Equinox.

     Groundhog Day as a modern event was inspired by an old Scottish couplet:

If Candlemas Day is bright and clear

There’ll be two winters in the year.**

      Later, the Germans started trying to predict how much more winter they could expect based on the hibernation patterns of bears in February. In the 1700s, when the Germans settled in the United States, they switched from bears to groundhogs, for some unknown reason* After all, groundhogs have no interest in how long winter lasts, nor are they any interest in their shadows. Basically, they come out of hibernation for food (by February, hibernating groundhogs have lost up to half their body weight) and sex.  **

A clue might be found in the (more…)

February 2, 2009

PUNXSUTAWNEY PHIL’S 2009 WINTER FORECAST

CAROLYN’S COMPOSITIONS

PUNXSUTAWNEY PHIL’S 2009 WINTER FORECAST

 

     February 2, 2009, was a bittersweet morning for a crowd estimated at 13,000, waiting in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, to see Punxsutawney Phil predict the weather for the final six weeks of winter. The sweet was the Pittsburgh Steelers football team win 27-23 over the Arizona Cardinals the previous evening.

     The bitter was that, following a especially blustery first half of winter, Punxsutawney Phil (more…)

February 1, 2009

PUNXSUTAWNEY PHIL, WEATHER PROPHET EXTRAORDINARY

CAROLYN’S COMPOSITIONS

PUNXSUTAWNEY PHIL:

WEATHER PROPHET EXTRAORDINARY

     Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, is a quiet rural community ninety miles northeast of Pittsburgh, where routes 36 and 110 intersect. On February 2, all eyes are on this town, waiting for an unlikely critter to predict whether the second half of winter will be blustery or mild.
     The legend of Punxsutawney Phil is tied in with the Native Americans, the German settlers, and the Roman Catholic tradition.
     It was 1723 when

(more…)

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