BY DONNA WESTFALL
CREDIT TO WWW.GROUNDHOG.ORG
Except for the past 119 times, Punxsutawney Phil, has been right only 39% of the time (without evidence or corroborative references). Other interesting facts; groundhogs only live about six years. And, in 1952, the groundhog was called Pete until a rookie newsman changed the name to Phil which has stuck ever since. Punxsutawney Phil is also knows as Seer of Seers, Sage of Sages, Prognosticator of Prognosticators and Weather Prophet Extraordinary.
Groundhogs are related to the ground squirrel family; often called woodchucks , whistle pigs and also known as marmots. Their burrows can be 8 to 66 feet long with multiple levels, chambers and exits. Farmers consider them pests.
Three towns in New Jersey have their own prognosticating groundhogs, Milltown Mel, (right 5 out of 6 years), Essex Ed, (records not kept), and Sussex County’s Stonewall Jackson (right about 75-80% of the time).
To sum up, groundhogs really can’t predict the weather.
What we do know is that Del Norte County has been having a beautiful winter with ample sunshine. As for Punxsutawney, Pa., their Groundhog Day is more about festival, food, family and fun.