Groundhog Day 2012 has come and gone this week. Do you know the origin of the holiday? Do you follow the results? According to the predictions of both Punxsutawney Phil in Pennsylvania AND Sir Walter Wally's in North Carolina, there will be six more weeks of winter. Ironically, good weather on any given February 2nd, Groundhog Day, indicates winter will linger. In the USA, we have been maintaining this tradition for over 125 years. Pennsylvania's early settlers brought the following saying from Europe: "For as the sun shines on Candlemas Day, so far will the snow swirl in May..."* Candlemas is the 40th day after Christmas. So, historically, Groundhog Day is linked to Christianity.
Information related to North Carolina's groundhog-predictor is archived through the State Climate Office of North Carolina. Check here on March 15th, if you want to follow up on the accuracy of Sir Walter Wally's 2012 prediction. On the same website, archived through NC State University, you can check the groundhog's record in previous years. Last time we checked, the Greensboro's own Natural Science Center had "Woody" the Groundhog on the prediction circuit, too.
As for the above groundhog, also known as a woodchuck, whistle-pig, and land-beaver, he was seen frequently in our yard in Greensboro this summer. We're guessing he'll be back...... sometime after March 15th. As far as we can tell, he's never poked his head out on February 2nd. Care to name him?
*Huffington Post reference here.