Posts Tagged "Punxsutawney"

Guess What Phil Said???

Dear Kid,

Punxsutawney Phil. Mom plots to get to Gobbler's Knob for Groundhog Day. DearKidLoveMom.comYesterday, Punxsutawney Phil was ceremoniously yanked out of a sound slumber to prognosticate the timing of spring.

Without coffee.

Seriously? How can anyone be expected to think things through without caffeine?

This year, the morning fogginess seems to have worked in our favor because P. Phil didn’t see his shadow. By definition, this means that spring will come early.

To be honest, I knew that before The Groundhog made his announcement because some of the iris (irises? irisi?) are poking their leaves up already. And they don’t aren’t supposed to do that until spring.

For the part of the eye, the usual medical plural is irides. For the flower both iris and irises are in common use.

So even though the first day of spring is officially not until March 20, the unofficial first day is now because WARM!

Happy (almost) spring!

Love, Mom

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Plotting for Punxsutawney

Dear Kid,

I have a notion. A stray little thought that wandered into my cranium about a year ago and took up residence. I thought maybe it had been a temporary boarder, but it recently popped up again.

Punxsutawney Phil. Mom plots to get to Gobbler's Knob for Groundhog Day. DearKidLoveMom.comI want to go to Gobbler’s Knob on Groundhog Day.

There are only about a thousand problems with this notion starting with

  1.  I don’t think Dad will be interested in going,
  2.  They open the gate to Gobbler’s Knob at 3am which is a ridiculous hour,
  3.  That ridiculous hour is made even more ridiculous because it’s the middle of freakin’ winter and therefore cold (which I hate), and
  4.  Groundhog Day 2015 is on a Monday—and it’s not recognized as one of the holidays we get to skip work for.

On the plus side, it’s Groundhog Day in Punxsutawney!

I looked up Punxsutawney, PA on Google maps. It turns out that Gobbler’s Knob is on the outskirts of Punxsutawney and Punxsutawney is in exactly nowhere PA.

And there doesn’t seem to be much else to do in the area. Aside from the hand crafted groundhog souvenirs and the Punxsutawney Phil museum. Or something like that.

There’s always the possibility of getting caught in the same day over and over again, but they don’t advertise that.

Love, Mom

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Groundhog Day and My Solution to the Frozen Vortex of Winter

Groundhog Day and My Solution to the Frozen Vortex of Winter DearKidLoveMom.comDear Kid,

Sunday is Groundhog Day. Punxsutawney Phil will be ceremoniously yanked from his burrow at 7:20 am to prognosticate weather-wise.

My prediction: Phil will say it’s cold and he’d prefer to have someone bring him breakfast in bed.

My Other Prediction: You will not be up to see the event live.

Tradition says that if Phil sees his shadow (of which he is presumably terrified) he will turn tail and hide, thus bringing six more weeks of winter. If he doesn’t see his shadow, spring is around the corner.

My solution: I say blindfold the darn rodent if there is even a hint of shadow-casting sunshine.

The first Groundhog Day at Gobbler’s Knob in Punxsutawney was February 2, 1887. But it turns out the concept of non-meteorologists predicting the weather predates Punx Phil by a lot (that’s the technical measure).

Waaay back, clergy would bless and distribute candles for winter on Candlemas. The candles indicated how long and cold the winter would be.

The German concept held that hedgehogs could predict the weather.

In the US, we believe in the Farmer’s Almanac for reliable weather forecasting. More reliable than the TV weather people, anyway.

Five Fun Facts About Groundhogs

1. Groundhogs = woodchucks = Marmota monax

2. Groundhogs typically live 6 to 8 years.

3. They typically weigh 12 to 15 pounds. A chubby 12 to 15 pounds (at least pre-hibernation).

4. They whistle when they’re frightened or looking for a mate. Those may be the same thing.

5. Groundhogs hibernate beginning in late fall and ending sometime in March. Which probably explains why they are grumpy about being woken up February 2nd just to humor a bunch of crazy humans.

Punxsutawney people take groundhog-ness very seriously. There is much celebration (about three days of festivities) and probably groundhog themed souvenirs.

Wonder if I can talk Dad into going to Punxsutawney next year…?

Love, Mom

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