February 2 is Groundhog Day. Although nobody gets a day off school, this holiday is still worth mentioning. Critters, like the groundhog or woodchuck, normally don't have holidays named after them, so how was the groundhog chosen?
A Brief History
The roots of Groundhog Day go back to the 6th century. It began with the German myth that, by simply showing up, hibernating animals were able to predict when springtime came. It is also believed that if the groundhog comes out of its hole and sees its shadow, we are in store for 40 more days of winter. To see a shadow, the sun must be out and the groundhog has to look in the correct direction. This weather folklore began in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania. Punxsutawney Phil (the offical US groundhog) is only accurate about 26% of the time.
What's In a Name?
Fast Facts About Woodchucks
Unlike beavers, these guys can't move timber, although some will chew on it. A wildlife biologist once measured the inside volume of a typical woodchuck burrow and estimated that - if wood filled the hole, instead of dirt - the industrious animal would have chucked about 700 pounds worth
2013 Groundhog Day
There was No shadow for Wiarton Willie and Punxsutawney Phil this year, that means that an early spring is predicted. That means we will be seeing warmer temperatures and no snow!
Have Your Say
What's your prediction for groundhog day? Will he see his shadow or not?