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Groundhog Day

Feb 01, 2016

February 2nd 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.

Groundhog Day is a big deal - look at the people!Groundhog Day is a big deal - look at the people!
 

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 official US groundhog) is only accurate about 26% of the time.

If this guy sees his shadow, it's one more month of winter for usIf this guy sees his shadow, it's one more month of winter for us
 

What's In a Name?

Woodchuck and groundhog are common names for the same animal, the rodent with the scientific name of Marmota monax. Most closely related to squirrels, woodchucks can actually climb trees and swim.

Groundhogs are also known as woodchucksGroundhogs are also known as woodchucks
 

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!

Have Your Say

What's your prediction for Groundhog Day? Will he see his shadow or not?

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Do You Believe in Groundhog Day?

  • Yes. I think the seasons change - or don't - because of groundhogs.
  • No. It's just a silly old wives tale.
  • I'm not sure.
  • I believe in Groundhog's Day only if it means an early spring!

Random In The Forums

eclipse11
eclipse11 posted in General:
My pic is of Eridan from homestuck.))
reply about 2 hours
ThePaleWalker636
Smiling with gratitude, Polaris spoke again. “Thank you, kind sir. Our people remember Those who assist us. But, do you swear? Swear that you will leave this December   For our lands, and bring to your skills and wit To save our young heir from the clutches of beasts?” Star Swirl became hesitant when at last he heard The nature of his quest, but he did not cease   In his resolve, and he swore by the Sun and the Moon “By Celestia and Luna’s names, I swear I will rescue your heir, Polaris, and I will depart At the dusk of tomorrow from here.”   “Truly you are a stallion of strength. I will guide to your quest at the time you may. The details I soon will reveal As we continue upon our way.”   The feast was concluded and all fell to sleep, But Star Swirl lingered when Polaris he espied By the fire, watching the flames And the wizard sat down at the unicorn’s side.   “Tell me of this heir you have spoken. What is their name, and by whom were they taken? Or what, should I say? By ‘beast’ mean you dragon?” Polaris sighed. His countenance seemed to be shaken.   “Her name is Royal Blue, and she is my daughter. She was indeed taken by beasts, us beaten and battered, A tribe of savages like never before seen. They are ponies with minds bended and shattered.   So savage are they, we know not how We are to defeat them without harming my child. They do not allow us to approach Without threats of her death by animals wild.”  
reply about 3 hours
SecretBlogger
SecretBlogger posted in General:
 Right now? An anime girl who I think I kindof look like, except for the fact she looks like she can kick serious butt, where i would just hurt myself trying. (I would definetly try tho....)
reply about 4 hours
PrincessRhiannon
Just little ol me  :wave [s:sm3/1jw1] [s:sm3/1jw2] I'm new here, so hello everyone!  :thumbsup :party ;)
reply about 5 hours
ThePaleWalker636
((Author's Note: A My Little Pony poem inspired by Sir Gawain and the Green Knight. Edits and suggestions are accepted in the comments. If you would like to add on to this and continue writing it yourself, I will create a master post of the finished product and may include suggestions and other people's work, whom I will credit. Thank you.)) After the battle to banish the Empire succeeded, The pony of shadows now for a thousand years gone, The feasts of celebration were well underway, And the Princesses rejoiced that the battle was won.   Star Swirl the Bearded, great wizard of old, Had remained there as long as he may, But as soon as he rose, the hall to leave There came an event that forced him to stay.   A figure stepped in from the midst of a storm: The doors were flung open with tremendous might By a stallion of stature like never before seen His presence alone dimmed the room’s light.   His hooves pounded the floor and forced it to crack Legs like tree-trunks, and a voice like thunder His eyes flashed like stars underneath his hood All present had their composures thrown asunder.   “Greetings!” The unicorn cried to the thrones. “I have traveled from the Northland’s wastes To meet the Sisters of much I have heard And so I have arrived, coming with haste.”   Celestia bowed with grace to this stranger “We accept you in our halls, you are to be certain You will be welcome as long as you stay. But I request you tell of your journey and all it may pertain.   Begin with your name, if you please,” she concluded. And the unicorn nodded in acceptance. “Of course. You behold Polaris, a messenger For my people, and have come to pay penance   To the rulers of our far away neighbors. I am the chieftain of my tribe in the North, Masters of snow and flame in our magic. But now we are in need, and I have come forth   To beg of you your assistance.” He bowed in his head, in pleading he waited While averting his eyes to the ground. Not wanting the Princess to know what was unstated.   Star Swirl arose, proudly he stood, His horn lit aflame to point to the sky. “Of course we will help! I’ll accompany you myself!” He did not pause to ask Polaris why.  
reply about 5 hours