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What Good Is The Groundhog?

(credit:  Phran Novelli)

(credit: Phran Novelli)

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By Phran Novelli

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) - What will the groundhog say and why do we pay attention?

It turns out that February 2nd, in addition to being my wonderful Uncle Rome’s birthday, is also the midway point between the beginning of winter and the official start of spring. So, since ancient times, it’s been natural to look around about now and wonder, ‘how much longer is this going to last?’

If it’s sunny on the day, winter’s here to stay – or so they say. So, really anything that casts a shadow can serve as your predictor. Over the ages, various animals in different countries were spied upon to see their shadows – German settlers just found groundhogs handy here in Pennsylvania.

Why cloudy rather than sunny weather would mean spring is coming sooner nobody knows. But you can’t make sense out of lots of traditions, and there’s no changing it now.

It turns out, the groundhog isn’t usually right anyway, so maybe someone wrote it down wrong and the opposite is true?

Whatever he sees tomorrow – shadow or no – there’s a good chance that whenever spring does get here, you won’t want to see Phil, or any other hungry groundhog, anywhere near your garden.

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