According to the hundred-year-old-plus tradition, which is odd as it is renowned, Punxsutawney Phil, the famed meteorologist groundhog, emerged on February 2nd once again this year to search for his shadow.
On Friday morning, Punxsutawney Phil scurried out of his little marmot hole and saw his shadow. Here, Phil's faithful followers wait for the 20-pound rodent to exit from the tree stump and give his highly anticipated message.
The Punxsutawney Groundhog Club's Inner Circle - a group of men who organize the event and care for groundhog Phil - brought Punxsutawney Phil out of his den in front of a large crowd as cameras beamed his image around the world.
No one can talk to a horse, of course - or a groundhog.
"We are still more than 3.5" behind in rainfall for the month, so any rain will be a big help over the next couple of weeks!
The standing Punxsutawney Groundhog Club president is the only person able to interpret Phil's official language known as "Groundhogese".
Punxitawney Phil's accuracy rate is around 39 percent.
The annual Groundhog Day event, made more popular by the 1993 comedy film "Groundhog Day" starring Bill Murray, draws faithful followers from as far away as Australia and Russian Federation. The two can be viewed from the sidewalk outside of the library or inside from the children's reading area.
Although groundhogs have an average lifespan of six to eight years, it's still fun to believe Phil has discovered the key to living a long and healthy life.
Groundhog Punch isn't the only thing Phil likes to drink. So, in Sussex County at least, the prediction is for six more weeks of winter.
Pennsylvania's Punxsutawney Phil is the most well known, but more than a dozen states celebrate with their own groundhogs, such as Georgia's General Beauregard Lee and Buckeye Chuck in Ohio. Unlike Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny or the Tooth Fairy, parents never have to explain to their children that Punxsutawney Phil isn't real. If it doesn't, warmer weather is just around the corner.
Out on Staten Island, Chuck the groundhog predicted an early spring.
I guess the feast was more of a Roman Catholic tradition that America seems to have lost to the passing of time, or it was just surpassed in the progress of our culture by cute furry animals seeking their shadows.
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