News From Terre Haute, Indiana

Liz Ciancone

February 10, 2014

LIZ CIANCONE: Why do we bother that rodent on a cold day?

TERRE HAUTE — I have a bone to pick with Punxsutawney Phil. I may have to get in line or take a number, but I am willing to wait it out.

I suppose I could cope with a disgruntled groundhog, but I think he is in cahoots with Mother Nature. That makes a formidable twosome. Mother nature has been playing weather games with us for the better part of a year and maybe she thinks that dumping some of the blame on an innocent groundhog would get her off the hook?

In a way, I can’t blame Phil. Maybe he demands the respect of his full name — at the least. Would it help if we called him “Punxsutawney Phillip”? Maybe he is as sore as an impacted wisdom tooth to be hauled out of a warm bed for a purpose obscure to him, then lifted aloft in the cold air with cheers and the popping of flash bulbs. I know I struggle some mornings to extract myself from a warm bed. Are groundhogs any less reluctant to be rudely roused before the alarm goes off?

This year Phil gave them a bit of a fight. He managed to squirm out of his tormentor’s arms and made a dash for freedom, or maybe it was a dash to get back into his burrow before his bed had a chance to cool.

However, and for whatever reason, Phil’s annual prognostication wasn’t long in being fulfilled. That’s OK for him. He has no highways to plow or sidewalks to shovel. The snow even adds a bit of insulation to his winter residence. All he has to do, really, is soak up a good rest so that when groundhog nibbles begin to grow again, he will be hungry and primed. A really good, non-interrupted rest, if only they would refrain from interrupting it, and he could pig out in preparation for another winter of hibernation.

The more I think of it, the more I am convinced that Phil is taking the rap for something he has little to do with. Maybe instead of pouncing on Phil for a weather forecast, we should find out where Mother Nature hangs out and prod her out of her lair to see what she has to say for herself. Surely we could do with less of the negative temperatures and polar vortex nonsense and a lot more of the sunshine edging above 32 degrees.

Sorry to have disturbed you, Phil, but before you nod off, please explain why a Pennsylvania groundhog has anything to do with Indiana weather

Liz Ciancone is a retired Tribune-Star reporter. Send email to

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Liz Ciancone
Latest News Poll
AP Video
Raw: Thousands Flocking to German Crop Circle Texas Scientists Study Ebola Virus Raw: Otters Enjoy Water Slides at Japan Zoo Two Women Narrowly Avoid Being Hit by Train Smartphone Powered Paper Plane Debuts at Airshow Raw: Deadly Landslide Hits Indian Village Raw: Plane Lands on New York Highway Raw: 16 Killed in Gaza Market Strike Southern Accent Reduction Class Cancelled in TN Crayola Announces Family Attraction in Orlando Obama Chides House GOP for Pursuing Lawsuit Harding Love Letters Now Open to Public Raw: Bolivian Dancers Attempt to Break Record LeBron James Sends Apology Treat to Neighbors Raw: Amphibious Landing Practice in Hawaii Raw: Guinea Rap Concert Stampede Kills 33+ Six PA Cops Indicted for Robbing Drug Dealers Britain Testing Driverless Cars on Roadways Russia Counts Cost of New US, EU Sanctions Cat Fans Lap Up Feline Film Festival
NDN Video
Heartwarming 'Batkid Begins' Documentary is Tear-Jerker Orlando Bloom 'Takes a Swing' at Justin Bieber In Ibiza Pitch Invading Morons Cause Chaos - @TheBuzzeronFOX Sadie Doesn't Want Her Brother to Grow Up "Maxim" Hotness! See Jessica Alba's Sizzling Spread Two women barely avoid being hit by train Broken Water Main Floods UCLA Orlando Bloom and Justin Bieber Reportedly Came To Blows In Ibiza Meet the Man Behind Dumb Starbucks Chris Pratt Adorably Surprises Kids at a 'Guardians of the Galaxy' Screening NOW TRENDING: Peyton Manning dancing at practice "The Bachelorette" Makes Her Decision Thieves pick the wrong gas station to rob Golden Sisters on '50 Shades' trailer: 'Look At That Chest!' Staten Island Man's Emotional Dunk Over NYPD Car - @TheBuzzeronFOX GMA: Dog passes out from excitment to see owner Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted 'Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1' Sneak Peek Florida Keys Webcam Captures Turtles Hatching Morgan Freeman Sucks Down Helium on 'Tonight Show'

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
  • -


    March 12, 2010