Whether one is superstitious, or has simply been unable to avoid the news, that famous groundhog has informed us there will be forty more days of winter. Hating winter as I do, this has led me to not like Punxsutawney Phil very much, either. Regardless, I decided to check into Phil and find out what it is all about.
It turns out the concept behind Groundhog's Day started with German settlers in Pennsylvania. They brought with them the notion that hibernating animals could predict the length of winter. As the first Groundhog's Day was observed in 1887, there have been many Punxsutawney Phils. Although the exact number is not known, it is estimated there have been approximately fourteen Phils, as the average life-expectancy of these creatures is eight or nine years.
Personally, I see no purpose in Groundhog's Day. Whether the numerous Phils have been able to predict the weather with any accuracy, I simply hate winter. Groundhogs-- also known as woodchucks-- can go about their business without being in a position of fame every February second. The recent Groundhog's Day was especially weird-- in this area, the temperatures had soared to record-breaking highs in the 60-degree range only weeks ago, with nothing on the ground except grass. A couple of days ago, the weather forecasters joined Punxsutawney Phil in his predictions. Today there is a snowstorm. Winter: loathe!
I hope old Punxsutawney Phil is satisfied with himself. As for me, I would hibernate if I could. Any amount of snow, ice, winds, and low temperatures is too much. Perhaps they could find an animal that can predict summer-- or make it arrive sooner.