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DaCruzNut

Happy Groundhog Day!

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The legend of Groundhog Day is based on an old Scottish couplet: "If Candlemas Day is bright and clear, there'll be two winters in the year."

Every February 2, people gather at Gobbler's Knob, a wooded knoll just outside of Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania.

Residents contend that the groundhog has never been wrong.

The ceremony in Punxsutawney was held in secret until 1966, and only Phil's prediction was revealed to the public. Since then, Phil's fearless forecast has been a national media event.

The groundhog comes out of his electrically heated burrow, looks for his shadow and utters his prediction to a Groundhog Club representative in "groundhogese." The representative then translates the prediction for the general public.

If Punxsutawney Phil sees his shadow, it means six more weeks of winter. If he does not see his shadow, it means spring is just around the corner.

Approximately 90% of the time, Phil sees his shadow.

Phil started making predictions in 1887 and has become an American institution.

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February 2, 2006 - around 7:30 am ET - Punxsutawney, PA:

Phil saw his shadow and thus we are headed for 6 more weeks of winter!

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As New York area people, we have more faith in Staten Island Chuck than in Punxatawney Phil. Today Phil saw his shadow (6 more weeks of winter), Chuck did not (early spring). See the Staten Island Zoo web site, http://www.statenislandzoo.org/ The zoo, incidentally, is small but terrific--just right for kids, with plenty of indoor stuff on a bad day.

We'll stick with Chuck. Go springtime!

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