Today is Groundhog day, February 2nd. Anyone who reads advicesisters.com regularly knows it’s my favorite day of the year and I always post something about Groundhog day. Theoretically, the groundhogs tell us whether or not we will have an early Spring by coming out of their burrows and either seeing a shadow (or not).
For the still clueless, the reason February 2nd is so special is that in theory, on this day groundhogs tell us whether or not we will have an early Spring by coming out of their burrows. If they see a shadow or not, it could be an early Spring. and either seeing a shadow (or not).
In truth, Groundhogs, part of the marmot family, come out around this time of year to scent mark turf in the forest, and then they go back to their burrows to make nice to the ladies. But February 2nd is the day that people tend to get a groundhog and make a fuss so it’s “official” by talking to the groundhog who will “tell them the truth” about whether or not they really saw a shadow that morning.
My truth is I dislike cold dark days and so whether or not the official groundhogs sees a shadow, I know that by this time of year it’s “hump day.” By February 2nd the days may not be getting any warmer, but at least they’re actually getting longer
Winter is on it’s way out.
a Wild Groundhog named “Nitche Ned” lived on, beneath and around my firepit in PennsuPennsylvania and he had a lady friend named “Nitche Nell.” They used to sit up on the wooden firepit deck and sun themselves, which probably wasn’t a bright idea since hawks can grab them even though thought they are
They used to sit up on the wooden firepit deck and sun themselves, which probably wasn’t a bright idea since hawks and other raptors live nearby.
Wild groundhogs have a short lifespan, but some have lived 6 years or more. After Ned and Nell departed (not sure if animals got them or old age, or maybe a passing car), rabbits and some chipmunks lived in their former residence.
But last Summer we saw another young groundhog on the firepit deck. Maybe this Summer there will be more groundhogs around.
CELEBRATE GROUNDHOG DAY:
You’ve probably seen that movie “Groundhog Day” with Bill Murray where he is a reporter is stuck in Punxsutawney living the same day over and over again and he’s not happy about it.
There is a real celebration there each year, where the usually freezing faithful and unhappy reporters shiver in the early morning atop Gobblers Knob in Punxsutawney Pennsylvania waiting for the “Inner Circle” (a bunch of groundhog handlers wearing top hats) to report on the undisputed king of the groundhogs: Punxsutawney Phil (he is the “prognosticator of prognosticators’) as to whether or not Phil saw his shadow.
There’s lots of singing and hoopla (and more shivering) and eventually, the lead Inner Circle person knocks on Phil’s tree “stump” (it’s actually metal and Phil lives in the Library, I’ve been to both Gobblers Knob and the library). Then the handler pulls out Phil (there are actually a couple of Phils but only one is needed for this ceremony).
The handler “talks” to Phil, and then makes the announcement about whether or not Phil saw his shadow, after which there is more shivering and a rush for hot drinks in a much warmer setting to celebrate either the coming of Spring or a few more weeks of Winter.
A Brief History of GroundHog Day
That’s the question. Groundhog Day (February 2nd) has its origins in a European tradition that if a hibernating animal (usually a hedgehog) casts a shadow February 2nd (Candlemas) then winter will last another six weeks. If no shadow is seen, Spring will come early! The legend states: “For as the sun shines on Candlemas Day, so far will the snow swirl in May” When German settlers came to Pennsylvania’s to settle early in America’s history, they continued the tradition, exchanging the hedgehog for the more abundant, groundhog
More Than One GroundHog Tells the Weather
Closer to wherever you live there are likely other prognosticating groundhogs. Not all agree with what Phil sees, of course. Here are some famous weather groundhogs to watch:
1. Punxsutawney Phil (Punxsutawney, Pa.)
2. Staten Island Chuck (Staten Island, N.Y., and official groundhog meteorologist of New York City)
3. General Beauregard Lee (Lilburn, Ga.)
4. Dunkirk Dave (Dunkirk, N.Y.)
5. Chattanooga Chuck (Chattanooga, Tenn.)
6. Buckeye Chuck (Marion, Ohio)
7. Sir Walter Walley (Raleigh, N.C.)
8. Jimmy the Groundhog (Sun Prairie, Wis.)
9. Malverne Mel (Malverne, N.Y.)
10. Holtsville Hal (Holtsville, N.Y.)
11. Woody (Howell, Mich.)
DID PHIL SEE HIS SHADOW?
Does Phil see his shadow or not? Will we have an early Spring?
February 2nd 2017: Phil’s shadow he did see, so 6 more weeks of winter, there will be! (but Malven Mel and Stateten Island Check did not see shadows, so they say there will be an easy Spring). I believe in Phil, the prognosticator of prognosticators!!!