World / Offbeat

Absence of groundhog Punxsutawney Phil's shadow may mean an early spring

AP

Members of Punxsutawney Phil’s inner circle revealed spring is coming early.

Handlers for Pennsylvania’s most famous prognosticating groundhog say he didn’t see his shadow when the sun rose Saturday.

The festivities have their origin in a German legend that says if a furry rodent casts a shadow on Feb. 2, winter continues. If not, spring comes early.

In reality, Phil’s prediction is decided ahead of time by the group on Gobbler’s Knob, a tiny hill just outside Punxsutawney, a borough about 65 miles (about 100 kilometers) northeast of Pittsburgh.