Nowhere to be Found
I'm a gopher, not a loafer and I live under the ground
If you want to know where I am, well I'm nowhere to be found
I can eat a little dirt without a bruising to my pride
'Cause it helps to have a secret hole to run away and hide
But if you want to meet me you can come into my burrow
You will find it 'tween the gentle earth and tender friendly furrow

Groundhog Day
Woodchuck (Marmota monax)

Early European Christians celebrated Candlemas Day, when candles were blessed by the clergy and handed out to the people. The winter event marked a milestone in the winter, and the weather on that day was important.

Roman soldiers brought the tradition to the German peoples they conquered. The Germans began the tradition that the hedgehog would cast a shadow if the sun appeared on Candlemas Day. Such an event would bring six more weeks of winter.

Pennsylvania’s earliest settlers were Germans known as "Pennsylvania Dutch." There were no hedgehogs in Pennsylvania. But there were plenty of woodchucks.

As luck would have it, the woodchuck was already esteemed by the Delaware Indians. They considered "Woodchuck" the "grandfather" of their ancestors. By the way, the woodchuck is also called a "groundhog."

The tradition was revised: If the sun appears on February 2nd (Candlemas Day) and the groundhog sees his shadow, winter will last another six weeks.

In the meantime, hunters in the town of Punxsutawney continued their tradition of hunting and eating groundhogs. In 1887, the editor of a local newspaper, the Punxsutawney Spirit, nicknamed a group of local hunters the Punxsutawney Groundhog Club.

He recalled the Pennsylvania Dutch legend of the groundhog as a weather prophet. The next step was to declare the groundhog residing on Gobbler’s Knob in Punxsutawney the chief weather prophet.

Humorous stories about Punxsutawney’s talented groundhog began appearing in the Punxsutawney Spirit. Other papers joined in, and Punxsutawney’s weather-casting rodent became popular across the nation. Punxsutawney’s groundhog became known as Punxsutawney Phil.

In 1992, Punxsutawney’s Groundhog Day festivities were attended by the comedian and actor Bill Murray. He was preparing for his starring role in the movie Groundhog Day.

Mr. Murray has appeared in lots of movies and made lots of money. But there never been any attempt to honor him with a national holiday. That honor is reserved for Punxsutawney Phil on February 2nd, Groundhog Day.

Visit Annie

Groundhog, Groundhog, popping up today.
Groundhog, Groundhog, can you play?
If you see your shadow, hide away.
If there is no shadow, you can stay.
Groundhog, Groundhog, popping up today.
Groundhog, Groundhog, can you play?

hbg

Some Interesting Pennsylvania Facts

 PA crg

~ Pennsylvania State Flower Mountain Laurel ~
~ State Tree Hemlock  ~ State Bird Ruffed Grouse ~
~ State Mammal Whitetail Deer ~ Pennsylvania State Drink Milk ~

At first glance, Pennsylvania’s state symbols might seem a little boring.
It shares its state flower with Connecticut, its state insect with Tennessee.
Several states share Pennsylvania’s state fish, the brook trout. Pennsylvania’s
state animal, the whitetail deer, is even more redundant, representing states
from New England to the South and west to Nebraska. Pennsylvania is one of three
states that adopted a trilobite as state fossil.

But a closer look reveals some differences about Pennsylvania’s symbols.
The name Pennsylvania means "Penn’s woods." So perhaps it’s not surprising that
Pennsylvania defied tradition and adopted a state tree before its state flower.
And the eastern hemlock is Pennsylvania’s state tree alone.

While most states chose songbirds for their official birds, Pennsylvania chose a
game bird. Pennsylvania’s state insect and fossil aren’t just any old firefly and
trilobite. They’re particular species that represent no other state.

True, the whitetail deer is the most popular of state mammals. But some people
consider Pennsylvania the whitetail deer capital of the United States.

The Keystone State boasts another mammal symbol of sorts that may be more popular
than the whitetail deer. In fact, a national holiday is observed to honor this mammal.
Pennsylvania is the birthplace of Groundhog Day!

This is my adopted Groundhog Buddy Phil jr.

HHCOF

Annie's Home Page

Committee for the Commercialization of Groundhog Day
Day of the Shadow
Groundhog Day and Chinese Astronomy
History of Groundhog Day
Mining Co. Kids' Exchange: Groundhog Day
Top 10 Reasons to Celebrate Groundhog Day

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