Are you ready to handle six more weeks of winter? I can’t say I am. Unfortunately the famous groundhog, Punxsutawney Phil, saw his shadow early this morning which is supposed to signal even more winter than is probably necessary to life. But should we really put our faith in this tiny, not to mention furry, weatherman?
The tradition of Groundhog Day dates back to the 19th century. As the legend goes, if a groundhog comes out of its burrow on February 2nd and sees its shadow then the next six weeks are expected to be cold with all the trappings of winter. Over the years the tradition has evolved to make Gobbler’s Knob in Pennsylvania the premiere place to be on Groundhog Day. These people are serious about their rodent-related holidays. Every year there is a huge festival that literally stretches from January 28th to February 4th and includes fireworks, performances, contests, and more. Its crowning event is, of course, the morning of the 2nd when Punxsutawney Phil comes out to make his annual prediction.
There are differing opinions as to whether Phil is actually an accurate predictor of the weather or if he’s just a sham. The official website of Punxsutawney Phil claims 100% accuracy, surprise surprise. Accuweather estimated at about 80% accuracy, which seems pretty legit. However another weather site, StormFax.com claims only 39% accuracy which also seems a little shady to me since by random guess Phil should be correct about 50% of the time. And there is some scientific evidence to back up the whole groundhog-shadow thing. Since groundhogs are hibernating through the winter, if they come out and its still winter they go back to sleep. Whether this has anything to do with shadows is pretty doubtful though. Most likely they’re just responding to certain cues in their environment.
But whether you believe in the groundhog’s amazing predictive abilities or not, they’re still super cute.
To see more pictures of Groundhog Day and groundhogs, check out this nifty Newscom lightbox.
Or to see more pictures of other cute animals, take a look at these other blogs:
This entry was posted on Thursday, February 2nd, 2012 at 9:41 am and is filed under Cute Animal Pictures, Holiday and Anniversary. You can follow any comments to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a comment, or trackback from your own site.