Alphadictionary.com

Our Sponsors

Technical Translation
Website Translation Clip Art
 

Groundhog day.

Miscellaneous Other Topics.

Groundhog day.

Postby LukeJavan8 » Tue Feb 02, 2010 1:42 pm

Happy Groundhog day!
Ole Phil saw his shadow, again, about 90% of the time
he does. CNN said he could not have, however, since
it was cloudy in that area of PA. So who knows. I have
a groundhog living in the bank on a creek which flows
through my yard. My dog does not like him/her, however.
Go figure.

The History.com site of the History channel has an
interesting commentary about it, connecting it to
today's "Christian" feast of Candlemas and the blessing
of candles for winter - this also being the same feast.

On this day in 1887, Groundhog Day, featuring a rodent meteorologist, is celebrated for the first time at Gobbler's Knob in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania. According to tradition, if a groundhog comes out of its hole on this day and sees its shadow, there will be six more weeks of winter weather; no shadow means an early spring.

Groundhog Day has its roots in the ancient Christian tradition of Candlemas Day, when clergy would bless and distribute candles needed for winter. The candles represented how long and cold the winter would be. Germans expanded on this concept by selecting an animal--the hedgehog--as a means of predicting weather. Once they came to America, German settlers in Pennsylvania continued the tradition, although they switched from hedgehogs to groundhogs, which were plentiful in the Keystone State.

Groundhogs, also called woodchucks and whose scientific name is Marmota monax, typically weigh 12 to 15 pounds and live six to eight years. They eat vegetables and fruits, whistle when they're frightened or looking for a mate and can climb trees and swim. They go into hibernation in the late fall; during this time, their body temperatures drop significantly, their heartbeats slow from 80 to five beats per minute and they can lose 30 percent of their body fat. In February, male groundhogs emerge from their burrows to look for a mate (not to predict the weather) before going underground again. They come out of hibernation for good in March.

In 1887, a newspaper editor belonging to a group of groundhog hunters from Punxsutawney called the Punxsutawney Groundhog Club declared that Phil, the Punxsutawney groundhog, was America's only true weather-forecasting groundhog. The line of groundhogs that have since been known as Phil might be America's most famous groundhogs, but other towns across North America now have their own weather-predicting rodents, from Birmingham Bill to Staten Island Chuck to Shubenacadie Sam in Canada.
-----please, draw me a sheep-----
User avatar
LukeJavan8
Grand Panjandrum
 
Posts: 3525
Joined: Fri Oct 09, 2009 6:16 pm
Location: Land of the Flat Water

Postby skinem » Fri Feb 05, 2010 11:06 am

Thanks for that...interesting to me.

...and we get to do it all again in a year...
User avatar
skinem
Grand Panjandrum
 
Posts: 1197
Joined: Thu Apr 27, 2006 4:33 pm
Location: Middle Tennessee

Postby LukeJavan8 » Fri Feb 05, 2010 11:54 am

We just had another six inches of snow last night: worst
winter in decades. What I like about the
Punxa..Phil story was that "he saw his shadow" yet
CNN and Fox both reported it was impossible, since
there were clouds covering the entire state of
Pennsylvania. Go figure.
-----please, draw me a sheep-----
User avatar
LukeJavan8
Grand Panjandrum
 
Posts: 3525
Joined: Fri Oct 09, 2009 6:16 pm
Location: Land of the Flat Water


Return to Res Diversae

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests