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Saturday, Apr. 19, 2014

Good news from the groundhog hole

Posted Thursday, February 3, 2011, at 3:53 PM

Hats off to Punxsutawney Phil - the famed groundhog weather prognosticator who ventured out from his 'homey hole' in a place called Gobbler's Knob Punxsutawney, PA on Wednesday and didn't see his shadow.

As lore goes, if you believe in this sort of thing, winter will be short and pleasant springtime weather is right around the corner - about six weeks away as tradition has it.

If the bucktoothed rodent has seen his shadow, the we could have expected six more weeks of winter -- which is something very few of us in this part of the Hoosier state really want.

Looking outside that's a sure relief on this icy cold morning when the temperature on the sign in front Bloomfield State Bank branch at Linton read 13 degrees on my drive in to the office.

The Punxsutawney Spirit newspaper is credited with printing the news of the first observance in 1886 - one year before the first legendary trek to Gobbler's Knob.

The groundhog day tradition stems from the Candlemas Day and the days of early Christians in Europe,at a point mid-way between the Winter Solstice and the Spring Equinox. For centuries the custom was to have the clergy bless candles and distribute them to the people who would light them in each window of their homes to ward off the darkness of mid-winter.

Even then, it marked a milestone in the winter season and is an indication that weather is important.

We're hoping that more and more of our neighbors here in Greene County have their electrical power restored after an epic ice storm that frosted the area on Tuesday into Wednesday. Some say this storm in terms of damage to utilities and the like is comparable to the Big Blizzard of 1978.

This has been a tough week and a long winter so far.

I'm giving a tip of the hat to Punxsutawney Phil -- we are all sick and tired of this weather.

Nick is assistant editor for the Greene County Daily World. He can be reached by telephone at 847-4487 or 1-800-947-4487; by e-mail at schneider.nick@gmail.com .



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