2 February 2018 - Groundhog Day
Groundhog Day: Behind The Scenes With Punxsutawney Phil's 'Inner Circle'
Anne Danahy (NPR, 01/02/2018)
Punxsutawney Phil, the world's most famous groundhog, lives a pretty charmed life. He and his groundhog wife, Phyllis, reside in their own zoo at the town library in Punsxutawney, Pa., where visitors can peer at them through an outside window. The groundhogs dine on hand-chopped produce and nap on a bed of soft hay.
For most of the year, Phil is mainly a local attraction. But every February 2, the groundhog and his handlers - known as the "Inner Circle" - have their day. Thousands of people travel to Punsxutawney annually to witness Phil's Groundhog Day weather forecast. If he sees his shadow, it means six more weeks of winter. If not, we're in for an early spring.
John Griffiths has been a member of Phil's Inner Circle for 20 years. His duties include everything from preparing the groundhog's lunch to handling him on the big day. But despite his long relationship with Phil, Griffiths says he does not get inside information on the groundhog's big prediction.
Who is Punxsutawney Phil, what date is Groundhog Day 2018 and what are its origins?
David Hughes (The Sun, 02/02/2018)
Every year, thousands of people gather outside a tiny town in Pennsylvania to watch a rodent deliver the world's most anticipated weather forecast.
Groundhog Day has become famous across the globe, helped by the Hollywood film – so here's what you need to know about Punxsutawney Phil, the meteorological marmot at the centre of it all...
Fun Facts About Groundhog Day
(The Punxsutawney Groundhog Club)
The average groundhog is 20 inches long and normally weighs from 12 to 15 pounds. Punxsutawney Phil weighs about 20 pounds and is 22 inches long. Groundhogs are covered with coarse grayish hairs (fur) tipped with brown or sometimes dull red. They have short ears, a short tail, short legs, and are surprisingly quick. Their jaws are exceptionally strong!
A groundhog's diet consists of lots of greens, fruits, and vegetables and very little water. Most of their liquids come from dewy leaves.
Punxsutawney Phil and 7 other famous groundhogs you should know
Jennifer Earl (Fox News, 02/02/2018)
Whether they're "131 years old," college educated or known biters -- every famous weather-predicting groundhog in the U.S. is unique.
And every year, people anxiously watch as the groundhog exits its warm burrow and forecasts the weather for the six weeks to follow.
This year will be no different.