Yesterday, the furry forecaster, Punxsutawney Phil, saw his shadow. According to folklore, we can expect six more weeks of winter. The educated woman, that I am, does not put much merit in a little rodent predicting the weather for the next six weeks. Although, I did wake up to four inches of snow, school closings and the possibility of another storm system in a couple of days that may deliver significant amounts of snow.
The folklore occurs in between the winter solstice in December and the vernal equinox in March, or the midpoint of winter which has been designated as February 2nd. On this day, a marmota monax more commonly referred to as a groundhog predicts the type of weather for the next six weeks.
- Winter will last six more weeks, if the groundhog sees its shadow.
- Spring will arrive early, if the groundhog does not see its shadow.
Fun Kindergarten Facts about Groundhogs
- It has big teeth to assist it in eating flowers and nuts.
- It has long claws to assist in digging a burrow.
- It has thick fur to keep it warm in the winter.
- It is also called a woodchuck or marmots.
- It is the largest member of the squirrel family.
Scholastic Science, February 2010
Issn 0024-1261 Vol. 44 No. 5
The Christian Science Monitor (http://www.csmonitor.com)
The National Geographic Website (http://animals.nationalgeographic.com)