Six More Weeks

Six More Weeks
Two black oxen with horns stand next to a split rail fence on a sunny winter day. Bare trees are in the background and there is a good covering of snow on the ground.
These oxen at Pennsbury Manor don't seem to care that Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow (photo via Pennsbury's Facebook page)

Punxsutawney Phil made it "Twitter official" Wednesday morning.

[Image description: Tweet from @PunxsatawnyPhil on Feb. 2, 2022 says in all caps "So sorry folks, I have seen my shadow, I predict 6 more weeks of winter!" Then: "#GroundhogDay, #GroundHogDay2022"]

So that's it, I guess. Not a big surprise, since winter usually lasts well into March around here. Still, I always hold out hope for an early spring. At least we're having a bit of a warm-up this week. And I've shared some more images from sites below as well. We might as well embrace it.

There's plenty to do on the Trails of History, as you can see from the info below. Also, if you want to read more about what we did last year (well, last fiscal year - 2020-21), the latest annual report is available on the PHMC website (PHMC 2020-21 Annual Report).

Old Economy Village shared an image of a groundhog on a gravel path in their garden last year. No word if this one tried to predict the weather or just enjoyed a snack.

Fort Pitt pointed out that the museum appears in an early scene of the movie "Groundhog Day" (1993). This was before the second level of exhibit galleries was added around 2001.

Last week's snow made for some lovely contrast with the stones on the Boone House at Daniel Boone Homestead.

And as pretty as the snow can be at sites like Ephrata Cloister, it's also extra work for staff who make sure that people can get in and out of the site safely. Thanks to everyone who plows, shovels, and sweeps up after winter storms.

Up Next

Today, February 4

  • UPDATE: Due to today's delayed opening, this program has been postponed to Feb. 11. StoryTime (in-person), 10:30-11:30 am, The State Museum of PA
    • Read "One Dog Sleigh" by Mary Casanova, learn about sleighs, and create your own jingle bells; for kids age 2 to pre-K and included in regular admission (StoryTime info)

Wednesday, February 9

  • Giant PA Map (in-person), 11:30 am-12:30 pm, The State Museum of PA
    • Discover our state and test your geography skills; included in regular admission (Giant PA Map info)

Thursday, February 10

  • Winter History Class (virtual), 9 am-noon, Ephrata Cloister
    • Today's topics are "People, Religion, Information Networks, and Travel: Envisioning Dynamic Links Between the Local and the Global" and "'Loving Friend': Transcribing Quaker Letters in Print"; if you're not signed up for the full course, you can watch today's session via Zoom for $10 (Winter History Class info)
  • Curiosity Kids (in-person), 11:30 am-12:30 pm, The State Museum of PA
    • Learn about chemistry and try mixing your own familiar compound to play with; for kids in grades K-2 and included in regular admission; space is limited, so please sign up at the Ground Floor Info Desk when you arrive (Curiosity Kids info)
  • Drake Well Winter Academy (virtual), 6:30-7:30 pm, Drake Well Museum & Park
    • Learn about William "Uncle Billy" Smith and his role in the first oil strike at Drake Well; program is free, but you must register to receive the link (Drake Winter Academy Zoom registration)
  • Virtual Ephrata Academy, 7-8:30 pm, Ephrata Cloister

Friday, February 11

    Rescheduled from 2/4: StoryTime (in-person), 10:30-11:30 am, The State Museum of PA
    • Read "One Dog Sleigh" by Mary Casanova, learn about sleighs, and create your own jingle bells; for kids age 2 to pre-K and included in regular admission (StoryTime info)

Advance Tickets or Registrations

  • Drake Well Museum & Park's final Winter Academy virtual program will be offered on Feb. 17 (Drake Well Virtual Academy info)
  • Ephrata Cloister's Winter History Class continues each Thursday morning from 9 am to noon through March 31; if you didn't sign up for the full 9-week course, you can register to attend individual sessions via Zoom for $10 each (Ephrata Cloister website)
  • Railroad Museum of PA will offer a virtual guided tour of three historic wooden passenger cars that are not regularly open to the public on Feb. 22, 7-9 pm; registration is by donation (Eventbrite link for tickets)
  • Pennsylvania Lumber Museum, in cooperation with the Potter County Conservation District, will host "Conservationist Gardener Workshop" on March 4, 11 am-12:30 pm; the workshop is free and in-person, but you must contact the Conservation District to register (Conservation workshop info)
  • Rails and Ales: enjoy an evening of craft beer among the museum's historic trains at the Railroad Museum of PA, April 9, 5:30-9 pm; must be 21 or older to attend; variety of ticket options (VIP tickets are sold out), including designated driver tickets (Rails and Ales tickets)
  • Drake Well Marathon, August 14 - this race is a Boston Marathon qualifier. Registration for a variety of categories is now open.


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