Beyond a shadow of a doubt

He’s on his way. Just four more days until Groundhog Day 2023! This entire blog could be dedicated to Groundhog Day and the other 51 weeks be just filler material. Actually, it could be dedicated to the Groundhog, Phil, the one, the only, Punxsutawney Phil.

Not a year has gone by that I hadn’t written something of Phil and/or his exploits. At least I don’t think so. You can search “Groundhog Day” if you’re really that interested.  And if you haven’t read the 10 or 12 posts that will pop up there, you should. There’s a wealth of information there. Why, two years ago I even wrote a Groundhog Day carol.

Groundhog Day lovers aren’t known for assiduously adhering to the facts when it comes to our favorite rodent. We are known for our unwavering support for the little furry guy. Phil gets all kinds of non-respect. Meteorologists (the science guys and the TV people) don’t like him (just because he’s more accurate than the science guys and more popular than the TV people). People who don’t like winter (because he predicts a longer winter way more often than an early spring (137-20)), don’t like him. People who want an early spring don’t like him (see previous sentence). Southerners don’t like him (apparently some Georgian poser by the unlikely name of Beauregard gets the confederate vote). But that’s okay because the 42 quadrillion of us who do like him love him, and we love him a lot. How could anyone not love Punxsutawney Phil?  A furry woodland creature not known for building dams, outsmarting waskly hunters, or becoming Daniel Boone’s hat, gets more than his 15 minutes of anthropomorphic fame each February 2 with the power to captivate us mere mortals more than any other animal alive.

So what will this year bring? I’ve said it before, I’m not the prodigious prognosticator that Phil is, but … Considering our hollow trees are a mere 90 miles apart, we are working with the same weather, and this year’s weather in Western Pennsylvania has been anything but predictable. The average temperature has been higher than normal and the average precipitation has been lower. But on the day when it’s been cold, it’s been COLD and on the days it’s been wet and snowy, it’s been WE – well, you get the idea. I say we throw all that together with the fact the Lunar New Year heralding the start of the Spring Festival was so early this year, and Phil can look around all he wants, but he won’t see his shadow and we will thus have an early spring. Yay! Or not.

Is the best way to help, support, and encourage yourself to help, support, and encourage others? We answered that question last week on Uplift! on Read all we had to say.




8 thoughts on “Beyond a shadow of a doubt

  1. Oh my goodness…this was fun…and I’m a newer friend/reader — I had no idea of your longstanding history with PP — Punxsutawney Phil! And yes, I couldn’t help myself. I had to meander over to check out the ‘carol’. Too funny, Michael! 😊😊😊

      1. Oh — you wise one, you! I was fine until I got to the ‘shadow he’ll never see’ (did I get that right? the last line?) and then I had to go back and sing the whole thing! Loved the last bit, especially. 😊

  2. Do you go to the actual unveiling at Gobblers Knob in Punxsutawney? When I was younger, we joked about going, but have never made it there. As for his prediction this year …. Drum roll please, I think spring is on the way, but that could be wishful thinking!

    1. I have to say for as mild as this winter has been, I really need an early spring. If I didn’t have an appointment on Thursday (what would have possessed me to do that?), I’d be on my way. I have not yet gotten there for the festivities. Either work or some other interruption kept me away. But…my daughter has often represented the family on the slopes of Gobblers Knob.

  3. There is a significant chance you will have really cold weather tomorrow–and I’m so sorry. One of my all-time favorite movies is “Groundhog Day”–the constant repeat, like Phil, just makes you smile. I love your commitment to all that you believe in. You are one of the funniest guys I know.

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