Unlike the movie Groundhog Day with Bill Murray, Groundhog Day comes around just once a year on February 2nd. I suspect weatherpeople hate Groundhog Day because they are forced to cover it from freezing cold, snowy, windy, Punxsutawney Pennsylvania. That’s where Punxsutawney Phil (the prognosticator of prognosticators) lives in the library. Actually, there are several groundhogs in the library. I know, I’ve been there!
Personally, I love Groundhog Day. It’s my favorite day of the year. If the groundhog sees his shadow we could have 6 more weeks of Winter. But if he doesn’t, we could enjoy an early Spring. Either way, we’ve gotten through the Winter holidays and Spring is coming back (relatively) soon.
What did the groundhog(s) predict for Spring 2022? Scroll to the bottom of this page and I’ll update you after “Phil” sees or doesn’t see his shadow.
What Are Groundhogs?
Groundhogs live in the ground but they’re not hogs. They are part of the marmot family. They’re also known as woodchucks, ground pigs whistle pigs, Canada marmot, and a bunch of other names.
Farmers at not too fond of groundhogs because they they make burrows and eat many of the same vegetables that we enjoy. Groundhog burrows can also be destructive to lawns and gardens.
Groundhogs are awesome creatures but gardeners and farmers don’t like them because they can be destructive. They make burrows and will eat many commonly grown vegetables (protect your gardens!). Some people dislike groundhogs because their burrows can be destructive to lawns and gardens.
A Brief History of Groundhog Day:
Groundhog Day has its origins in a European tradition. The wisdom is that if a hibernating animal (usually a hedgehog) casts a shadow on February 2nd (Candlemas Day) then winter will last another six weeks. The legend states: “For as the sun shines on Candlemas Day, so far will the snow swirl in May” If no shadow is seen, there will be an early Spring.
Groundhogs come out of their burrows in February to scent mark turf in the forest. Then they go back to their burrows to enhance romance!
When German settlers came to Pennsylvania to settle early in America’s history, they exchanged the hedgehog for the indigenous groundhog to celebrate the hopefuly early Spring. This charming tradition lives on, not just in Pauxatauny PA but around the country!