Morris County News

It's Groundhog Day, So Here Is the Story of Punxsutawney Phil

6d48b38bc89d33e9d9bb_Screen_Shot_2018-02-01_at_10.51.31_AM.jpg
Punxsutawney Phil enjoys a granola bar from the shoulder of one of his handlers, John Griffiths. Credits: Punxsutawney Groundhog Club
6d48b38bc89d33e9d9bb_Screen_Shot_2018-02-01_at_10.51.31_AM.jpg

With Groundhog Day upon us, thousands will watch in person and even more will tune in from home to see Punxsutawney Phil make his yearly prediction.

As legend has it, if Phil sees his shadow at dawn on Feb. 2, six more weeks of winter are on its way. If Phil doesn’t see his shadow, and early spring can be expected.

Phil may very well be the world’s second most famous rodent right behind Mickey Mouse, but on Groundhog Day, he’s the only one that matters. Each year during the early morning hours of Feb. 2, a large crowd gathers around a tree stump located on Gobbler’s Knob in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania. Here, Phil’s faithful followers wait for the 20-pound rodent to exit from the tree stump and give his highly anticipated message.

Sign Up for E-News

Men from the Punxsutawney Groundhog Club inner circle, a prestigious group made up of the who’s who in Punxsutawney, take care of Phil all year and plan the big event. At the Groundhog Day celebration, Phil’s official handler, a member of this tuxedo-and-top-hat-wearing group, pulls the oversized squirrel from his stump and lifts him above the packed crowd. After that, Phil tells the group’s president his prediction, it is relayed to the crowd, and then it’s back to eating granola bars and corn until next year. 

The standing Punxsutawney Groundhog Club president is the only person able to interpret Phil’s official language known as “Groundhogese.” While Phil’s all-time predication accuracy is only 39 percent, he isn’t the one to blame.

"Unfortunately, there have been years where the president has misinterpreted what Phil said," former handler Ron Ploucha told pennlive.com "Because Phil's never wrong, Phil's prediction is 100 percent correct, and we blame the variants on the president's interpretation of Phil's prediction."

Phil’s got quite the glamorous life. On top of only having to work one day a year, he starred in the 1993 Bill Murray comedy Groundhog Day, and has even met celebrities like Ronald Reagan and Oprah Winfrey.

While the stump on Gobbler’s knob is what he’s known for, a groundhog of Phil’s status demands a greater living space. Because of this, Phil spends the year at his house located inside the Punxsutawney Memorial Library. Here, Phil spends time in a man-made burrow with his wife, Phyllis. The two can be viewed from the sidewalk outside of the library or inside from the children’s reading area.

While the average lifespan of a groundhog in the wild is six years, Phil is said to be 132 years old and has survived for so long by drinking Groundhog Punch. Each year at the annual Groundhog Picnic, the furry fellow indulges in this drink that’s said to give him seven more years of life.

Groundhog Punch isn’t the only thing Phil likes to drink. During prohibition, Phil threatened to impose 60 more weeks of winter if he wasn’t allowed to have the hard stuff.  

Besides his age, his weather predicting skills and the fact that he’s probably the only groundhog who lives in a library, Punxsutawney Phil is special for another reason. Unlike Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny or the Tooth Fairy, parents never have to explain to their children that Punxsutawney Phil isn’t real. Instead, they may just have to explain that there have been upwards of 40 groundhogs playing the famous weather prognosticator since 1886.

Since 2010, Phil has only predicted an early arrival of spring three times. While many are probably hoping for an end to the harsh cold and snow, the changing of the seasons now lies in the paws of Punxsutawney Phil.  

* * *

Click here to listen to Christian Gravius' podcast with Ethan Kibbe, who attended the Groundhog Day festivities in Punxsutawney last year.

Sign Up for E-News to get top stories delivered daily to your inbox. 

Download the FREE TAPinto App!  Click here for Android - Click here for iOS to get news as it is happening.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Morristown

AtlantiCast

AtlantiCast: Episode 14

On this week’s AtlantiCast, an internationally recognized orthopedic oncologist takes a leadership role at Atlantic Health System, see the newest weapon in the fight against HPV-related cancers, Atlantic Health System leads the Castle Connolly / Inside Jersey Rankings, and much more!

 

I Need to Take Leave from Work Because of a Disability. What are My Rights and Obligations?

According to studies, as many as one in ten persons of working age in the United States have at least one disability.  As a result of a disability or illness, most of us will need to take extended leave during the course of a career.  If you or someone you know suffers from a disability or illness and needs to take time off from work, here are some important things to know:

Leave Can ...

Morris Animal Inn Hosts Live Q&A Session; Wednesday Feb. 28

MORRISTOWN, NJ - Do you have questions about grooming your dog? The Morris Animal Inn is hosting a Live Question and Answer Session on Wednesday February 28 at 11:30am. Tune in to have all your questions answered by Morris Animal Inn's Grooming Manager, Jayanne.

Morris Animal Inn offers:

Bath, brush out, ear cleaning and nail trim package
Haircut to your specifications
Healthy ...

Lend a Hand for Morristown's Annual Spring Clean Up; Saturday April 21

April 18, 2018

MORRISTOWN, NJ - The Town of Morristown will hold its annual Spring Cleanup, this Saturday April 21. Branches and trash that typically accumulate in bushes, parks and along roads and walkways over the winter is more pervasive than usual this year.

The Morristown Beautiful and Morristown Clean Communities are co-sponsoring this year's Spring Clean-Up which will be held on Saturday, ...

Junior League of Morristown hosts Lunch with the Authors

BEDMINSTER NJ - The Junior League of Morristown is proud to present the 17th Annual Lunch with the Authors fundraising event May 4, 2018. The longest running event of its kind in New Jersey includes a panel discussion, book signing, and delicious luncheon featuring nationally acclaimed authors.

Lunch with the Authors has not only been a literary celebration featuring some of the ...

April Events at the Morristown Library

MORRISTOWN, NJ - The Morristown & Morris Township Library has lots of events going on in the month of April. Scroll down to find one for you!

Thursday, April 05

7:00 PM

Three Civil War Generals from Morristown

Disgraced generals and court martials. Bungled orders. Sensational newspaper stories. Political machinations. Insanity and institutions. Idealism and bureaucracy.

Special Concert in Morristown Features Doolin'; Friday Apr. 20

April 16, 2018

MORRISTOWN, NJ - The Folk Project will present a special concert featuring Doolin’ on Friday, April 20, 2018 at 7:30 PM. The concert will be held at the Morristown Unitarian Fellowship, 21 Normandy Heights Road in Morristown, NJ. Tickets can be purchased in advance for $20 at www.FolkProject.org or at the door for $25.

Doolin’ is France’s ...

Healthy Plant-Based Eating: A Free Introduction to be Given in Morristown; April 24

MORRISTOWN, NJ -  A free talk on plant based eating will take place at the Morristown & Morris Township Library on Tuesday April 24 at 7pm. Marisa Sweeney, RDN and Co-founder of New Jersey VegFest will lead the discussion which will offer helpful tips for healthy eating.

The presentation will be geared towards people interested in making the jump to veganism as well as those ...

1st Annual Bike Ride Connecting Three 9/11 Memorial Locations Set for Tuesday April 24

MORRISTOWN, NJ. - Starting on April 11 through May 23, the September 11th National Memorial Trail Alliance will be hosting and riding in the first-ever complete bike ride along the trail, connecting the three 9/11 memorial locations, the World Trade Center, Pentagon, and Flight 93 Memorial.

The community is invited to attend the ceremony on Tuesday, April 24 at 4:30 ...

Morristown Cat Missing Since Last Week; Help Needed to Find Him

April 16, 2018

MORRISTOWN, NJ - A cat has been missing from the Morristown area since last week and the owner is asking residents to keep an eye out for him

Jack, is a black and grey short haired tabby cat that is shy but very friendly, stated his owner. He  is an indoor cat, without a collar, that has been missing from the house, in the area of Woodland Avenue And Albert ...

Luck O' The Farm Returns to Morristown's Fosterfields Living Historical Farm; Sat. April 14

MORRISTOWN, NJ. - On Saturday, April 14, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., experience a day in the life of Irish farm workers and servants who worked for the Foster family at Fosterfields Living Historical Farm in Morris Township.

During the 19th century, America became a melting pot of diverse cultures that immigrated to this country. The Irish were among those who came in search of new ...

Kings Food Markets Renews Partnership with Grow it Green Morristown to Make Fresh, Local Food Accessible to All

MORRISTOWN, NJ -  Kings Food Markets is continuing its fight against hunger by once again partnering with Grow It Green Morristown, a nonprofit focused on making fresh, local food and outdoor spaces accessible for all. Kings has been a supporter of Grow It Green for several years and is renewing their commitment to assist the organization with collaborative projects centered on hunger relief ...

The Cora Hartshorn Arboretum is now Accepting Applications to the Cora's Conservation Corps Teen Volunteer Program

April 17, 2018

The Cora Hartshorn Arboretum is now accepting applications for Cora's Conservation Corps Teen Volunteer Program.

Cora’s Conservation Corps is a service-based program where teens participate in four major activities: environmental education, forest conservation, citizen science, and volunteerism. Through these activities, individuals develop leadership skills, fine-tune public ...

CCM to Air Weekly Television Show

RANDOLPH, NJ – The Alex DeCroce Media Center at County College of Morris (CCM) is now airing a new series of programs titled “Spotlight: Morris County” on Morris Educational Television (METV).

Each 30-minute episode will be aired on METV Channels 40 and 77 on Mondays first at 9 a.m., then at 3 p.m. and again at 9 p.m.

Professor Julian Costa, ...

Snow Kidding, Snow Possible for Tuesday

NEW YORK, NY - The National Weather Service predicts a possibility for snow on Tuesday with little to no accumulation. 

Monday will remain chilly with light breezes making it feel colder than it actually is. 

Tonight, a mixture of snow and rain is expected to hit the area around midnight and continue through the early morning hours. Rain is expected to follow. Tuesday temperatures ...

Improvements Planned for Two Busy 90 Year Old Morris County Bridges, One in Florham Park

April 19, 2018

Florham Park, NJ - Morris County, in coordination with the North Jersey Transportation Planning Authority and New Jersey Department of Transportation, is conducting studies to determine improvements needed for the Columbia Turnpike Bridge in Florham Park and the Valley Road Bridge in Long Hill and Bernards Township, at the Morris and Somerset counties’ ...

Gov. Phil Murphy in Newark for town hall style meeting on budget

April 19, 2018

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy will be in Newark tonight for a town-hall style meeting to talk about his proposed $37.4 billion budget for fiscal year 2019 that begins July 1.

The event will be held at Newark Technical High School, 91 West Market Street, Newark. Doors open at 5 p.m. for a 6 p.m. start time. The event is free and open to the public. For security purposes, backpacks ...

Want to avoid gaining weight? Don’t diet!

Researchers aiming to identify lifestyle factors related to weight management followed more than 4,500 young adults (average age 24) for ten years. At the end of the study period, 77% of the men and 72% of the women had gained weight. The lifestyle factors associated with no weight gain among the remaining 23% of the men and 28% of women were regular eating patterns (not skipping meals) and no ...

Buy A Home To Build Your Family's Wealth

Over the next five years, home prices are expected to appreciate, on average, by 3.6% per year and to grow by 18.2% cumulatively, according to Pulsenomics’ most recent Home Price Expectation Survey. Team Nest Builder wants you to understand what that means for homeowners and their equity positions.

As an example, let’s assume a young couple purchased and closed on a $250,000 home ...

Retro Review: Johnny Got His Gun by Dalton Trumbo

Retro Review: Johnny Got His Gun by Dalton Trumbo (Citadel Press, 1970)

 

How does a reviewer do justice to a book called “the great American novel”? I first read Johnny Got His Gun during the Viet Nam war, when young people, nationwide, were protesting fighting in a war that was a senseless waste of life; a war in which the United States had no business participating.

'The Sting' shimmers and shakes at Paper Mill

‘The Sting ‘slithers and shakes at Paper Mill Playhouse

By LIZ KEILL

MILLBURN, NJ – In a premiere production of “The Sting,” Harry Connick Jr. commands the Paper Mill Playhouse stage in Millburn.

Based on the sensational Paul Newman/Robert Redford film in 1973, the 1930s plot centers on a con game and gambling, sometimes on a train between New York and ...

Letter to the Editor: Don't Complain. Vote!

April 14, 2018

Don’t Complain; Vote!

It’s no secret that people have strong feelings about what’s happening in our country. It’s also true that much of politics is local. In November, NJ-11th District residents will have the opportunity to choose a new congressional representative who will not only serve as a critical check on the federal level, but also determine how our distract ...

The Role of Meal Replacements in Weight Loss

April 6, 2018

Obesity is at epidemic proportions in the United States and in other developed and developing countries. The prevalence of obesity is increasing not only in adults, but also in children and adolescents. We all know that obesity is a significant risk factor for various chronic illnesses, most importantly heart disease and diabetes, but also cancer and osteoarthritis, liver and kidney disease, ...

Candidate Statement; Falkner, Gyorfy Announce Bids for Morris Township Committee

April 12, 2018

Dan Falkner and Mark Gyorfy submitted their petitions to run for Morris Township Committee with the endorsements of the Morris County and Morris Township Democratic Committees. Falkner, a Navy veteran and former investment banker, and Gyorfy, a volunteer firefighter and former congressional staffer, intend to bring their public service experience to Morris Township’s governing body to ...

Candidate Statements: John Cesaro and Aura Dunn form Freeholder Ticket

“The Smart, Conservative Choice for Morris County”

Incumbent Cesaro and Mendham Borough resident, Aura Dunn will run together for the Republican Primary on June 5, 2018.

Both candidates hold advanced degrees and have a combined 40 years in public service.  Cesaro, with a law degree from Quinnipiac University and Dunn, a Master of Public Administration from the George ...

Upcoming Events

Fri, April 20

Scherman Hoffman Wildlife Sanctuary, Bernardsville

NJ Audubon: Les Photos de Bernie at the Wayrick ...

Arts & Entertainment Green

Carousel_image_82ae67ce849a82b5418e_wine_3

Fri, April 20, 6:30 PM

New Jersey Vasa Park, Budd Lake

CEC's Wine Tasting and Silent Auction

Food & Drink Giving Back

Sat, April 21

Scherman Hoffman Wildlife Sanctuary, Bernardsville

NJ Audubon: Les Photos de Bernie at the Wayrick ...

Arts & Entertainment Green

Police Blotter: 3 Morristown Men Arrested for Narcotics During Motor Vehicle Stop

April 9, 2018

3/26: ARREST FOR WARRANT: Officers executed a motor-vehicle stop for a moving violation in Morristown. An investigation revealed Young W. Lee, age 55, of Palisades Park, to have a warrant for failure to appear in Ridgefield Borough Municipal Court. He was able to post the required bail and was released with a new court date pending.

3/26: ARREST FOR NARCOTICS/D.W.I.: Officers executed a ...

Spring 2018 Menu Release

April 19, 2018

Our formula is simple: great food, great drinks and an inviting place in which to spend your evenings. Join us as we release our Spring 2018 menu. This is one Morristown restaurant that will not disappoint.

 

@endofelm 

www.EndofElm.com