February 4, 2015 |
For years, we have asked people to explain why a groundhog named Punxsutawney Phil has meteorological authority. Some studies show that his prognostications are little better than random. Anyway, on Monday, Phil said we're going to have six more weeks of winter. Which is more or less right, because he said so on Feb. 2 and the last day of winter is March 19. Good one, Phil! Oh, but look: Staten Island Chuck , Phil's woodchucky rival up north, says we'll have a short winter!
February 3, 2015
HEY, IT'S GROUNDHOG Day, a day that helps explain our politics. First, it's a Pennsylvania thing, you know, Punxsutawney Phil and all. Second, it's about rodents and shadowy behavior. Third, our politics play out like "Groundhog Day," the 1993 Bill Murray film in which the same stuff keeps happening over and over. I mean, come on, Rob McCord's just the latest in a long line. And, really, what's our expectation? We check to see if groundhog Phil sees his shadow, which means six more weeks of winter; or doesn't, which means an early spring.
February 3, 2015 |
It's a little-known fact that Punxsutawney Phil, the world's most famous groundhog, has a cousin who lives 283 miles to the east. Manayunk Manny roams just below Main Street on the banks of the Schuylkill. Once a year, the day before Phil becomes the world's most famous weather rodent, the two furry cousins meet in Harrisburg. Before they burrowed down Sunday and watched Super Bowl XLIX, Phil and Manny reminisced about the previous year and discussed the big day ahead. The Inquirer was invited along and asked to transcribe the reunion.
March 21, 2014 |
Perhaps, instead of his shadow, Punxsutawney Phil should have gone in search of fava beans. That would be more useful after a relentless winter like this one, the longest stew season of recent memory. "Every time it seemed like it was going to end, it kept going. I could not wait to see the end of this winter," says Brian Ricci, chef of Kennett in Queen Village. "I'm definitely thinking about what's coming from the farms and what we'll do for our spring menu. " Though not all of your favorite spring vegetables may be available yet, there are ways to cook ourselves out of the spiritual haze in the meantime.
February 3, 2014 |
On Groundhog Day, one is tempted to wonder how a supersized rodent came to be a symbol of hope. Perhaps those tourists flocking to an obscure patch of Pennsylvania called Gobbler's Knob only think they've come to see a seer named Punxsutawney Phil. They may instead be acting upon a universal human yearning for community, for a respite from the isolation imposed by, say, an Arctic vortex. These Punxsutawney pilgrims may simply be expressing our communal wish for better weather.
March 29, 2013
We greet the start of winter with feasts and revelry. By February, we're cold, tired, and seizing on almost any sign that better days are ahead - even if it's furnished by a large rodent handled by a Western Pennsylvanian wearing a top hat. But after a resolutely frigid March proved that omen as dubious as it seemed, the people required vengeance on said rodent. If spring, with its high holy days and rising temperatures, embodies hope, prolonged winters are suffused with a special despair.
March 27, 2013 |
It's no secret that Punxsutawney Phil is a shadowy underworld figure. And yet it now looks like the dirty rat-cousin could burrow his way out of a possible death sentence in Ohio. A supposed higher-up in the Gobbler's Knob mob has stepped forward to be the fall (or winter and still-not-spring) guy. Police in Maryland, however, have yet to withdraw their "Suspect Wanted for Fraud" proclamation. Being a famous groundhog in Pennsylvania isn't such a warm and fuzzy deal anymore.
March 26, 2013 |
Yes, it's technically spring. Yes, famed groundhog Punxsutawney Phil indicated spring would arrive early. Yes, Jersey Shore entertainment venues spent the weekend cranking up for the beach season, and there was a regatta on the Schuylkill. But - and you knew this was coming – it appears Old Man Winter has decided to snow on this parade. Philadelphia is expected to get one to three inches of mostly slushy stuff Monday. North and west of the city there could be two to four inches, and the Shore could get three to six, by some estimates.
March 25, 2013 |
CINCINNATI - A shadow of a different kind is hanging over Punxsutawney Phil. Authorities in still-frigid Ohio have issued an "indictment" against the famed groundhog, who predicted an early spring when he didn't see his shadow after emerging from his lair in Western Pennsylvania on Feb. 2. Spring arrived Wednesday, and temperatures are still hovering in the 30s in the Buckeye state and much of the Northeast. While it's not the coldest spring on record, it's a good 5 degrees below normal, said Don Hughes, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Wilmington, Ohio.