Groundhog Day


Thread Starter
Mar 3, 2000
This figures:D

Groundhogs Looking for Love, not Shadow

Associated Press Writer


Humans believe groundhogs emerge from their dens in early February to look for their shadow _ a predictor of spring.

But the event is more likely the start of a winter courtship, and a prelude to March mating, a Penn State University researcher says.

"During the regular part of the year, the males and females pretty much stay apart. They're anti-social and, in fact, if they do come across each other they're sort of aggressive," said Stam Zervanos, an associate professor of biology at Penn State's campus in Reading. "I think that part of their routine in this part of the year is ... to see which females are available and where they are."

Observers have long known the early February emergence of groundhogs and other marmots isn't the end of their hibernation, which comes the following month.

Nevertheless, modern Groundhog Day celebrations evolved from a German superstition that if such an animal sees its shadow Feb. 2 _ the Christian holiday of Candlemas _ then a long winter is in store.

"What's happening, I'm pretty confident, is that they're getting together, getting ready for mating that's going to come later," Zervanos said.

During the last four years, Zervanos observed some 30 groundhogs that live on a university-owned farm near Penn State's Berks-Lehigh Valley College.

Most went into hibernation in early November, then emerged for the first time in early February. Males tended to explore their territory, often visiting the dens of area females, while females tended to stay near the opening of their dens.

After visiting a female, the male might visit another female or return to his den for further hibernation.

That, alone, makes for an interesting finding, said Theresa M. Lee, a professor of psychology and neuroscience at the University of Michigan. She said it's not uncommon for males of similar species to visit the dens of females, but that the females would remain inside.

"In other species, the females don't come above ground, so there's no interaction," said Lee, who has studied hibernation and other biological rhythms in rodents. "That's quite unique. I have never read that of any other female ground squirrels."

That might be because groundhogs are somewhat anti-social, Zervanos said. Most other marmots and ground squirrels are more friendly and might not require such a courtship before mating.

Although a male might stay with a female for as long as two days, Zervanos said it appears they do not mate during this period. Groundhogs typically give birth in April after a 30-day gestation period, so it's unlikely that mating takes place before early March, when the animals emerge for good from hibernation.

It's also not clear whether groundhogs actually mate with the same partners they visit during February, or whether they choose other partners.

But Zervanos said it's likely the winter courtship does lead to mating in the spring.

"The male is territorial and he pretty well keeps other males out of his area," Zervanos said. "If a female that he visited in February becomes pregnant in March, it's highly likely it's the male that's in that territory, although we don't have good evidence of that."



Always remembered in our hearts
Apr 17, 2002
Thanks for that Jerry. This is for Christians. :) Take care. angel

<b>Groundhog Day</b>
By: Debbie Carroccio

Oh Mr. Groundhog, how I envy you sometimes. You do one thing, once a year, and then you crawl back into your hole in the earth. For a brief moment every February you are the center of attention. The other 364 days of the year you are a nobody! Wouldn't my life be a lot easier if I only had one thing to do and then I could go back into hiding?

Yes, Mr. Groundhog, you are a fine example. Nothing bothers you as you hibernate from society. You disengage yourself and live privately, not affected by others. You are a recluse who retreats deep into his own world and rarely emerges. You are a loner, a nonconformist, an individual who looks out only for your own interest and is never concerned about anyone else. I would love to pattern my life after yours, Mr. Groundhog. How does it feel to have no contact, to be alone, to face every day sitting in a dark corner? The silence must be wonderful. Although you have no support network, you can be very proud of your independence.

How I envy you, Mr. Groundhog. All the busyness of life sometimes overcomes me. The pressures of keeping good friendships is far too detailed, with the phone calls and visits and e-mails; not to mention the awkward hugs and pats on the back. Sometimes the laughter gets way too loud for me, and the happiness is appalling. The helpful kindnesses are such a nuisance, I would much rather do my own thing like you do. I think today I will give it a real good try, as I crawl into my own selfish world and block out all good intentions of caring people who love me. I will be a groundhog and celebrate my life in the peace and quiet of a lonely, black hole.....

***Are you a groundhog? Or do you realize you are a special part of the kingdom of God? You belong to His body and there is a plan for your life. Don't let the enemy turn you into a spritual hermit! Come out of your hiding place and be a light in your world. Enjoy God's richest blessings on your life as the spirit shines through you!

Think about it.


Always remembered in our hearts
Apr 17, 2002
Groundhog Day (haiku)

It is winter
The groundhog sees a shadow
It is the front tire of my truck
There will be six more weeks of winter
But not for the groundhog
Jul 12, 2001
Personally I don't care if that little rodent sees his shadow or his love - I'm just sick of winter. Summer NOW please. LOL:eek: :D
Nov 16, 2002
Originally posted by littlemar:
Personally I don't care if that little rodent sees his shadow or his love - I'm just sick of winter. Summer NOW please. LOL:eek: :D
Bravo! I agree!
Mar 27, 2002
Nevertheless, modern Groundhog Day celebrations evolved from a German superstition that if such an animal sees its shadow Feb. 2 _ the Christian holiday of Candlemas _ then a long winter is in store.
Candlemas was originally a Pagan Holy Day or Sabbat known to most as Imbolic.

Imbolic - February 1
Imbolic involces celebrations of banishing the winter and welcoming the spring. At the time of Imbolic, the newborn Sun God is seen as a small child nursing from his Mother. At this phase of the cycle, winter is swept away and new beginnings are nutured. Some Wiccan groups favor this time of the year for initiations into the Craft. It is traditional at Imbolic to light every lamp in the house for a few minutes in honor of the Sun's rebirth.

If not summer at least spring.
It's on the way! just let us work our Magik!

Blessed Be!


Thread Starter
Mar 3, 2000
Punxsutawney Phil Predicts More Winter
Associated Press Writer

Don't put those sweaters away yet.

As an anxious crowd shivered in 33-degree temperatures early Sunday, Punxsutawney Phil emerged from his burrow and saw his shadow on Gobbler's Knob, suggesting another six weeks of wintry weather.

Kathleen Perdy, a teacher from Alliance, Ohio, joined thousands in the predawn chill.

Her 26-year-old son had been deployed to the Middle East on Saturday, the same day the nation grieved the lost astronauts aboard space shuttle Columbia, but Perdy tried to stay positive.

"Life goes on. You learn you have to value your time, and you have to respect each other. Most importantly, you have to have fun," she said.

The crowd danced to stay warm, then sang the national anthem before Phil's handlers held him up and announced the chilly forecast.

Groundhog Day organizers estimated the crowd for the 117th forecast at a record 40,000. Attendance has ballooned so much since the movie "Groundhog Day" was released in 1993 that buses now bring visitors up to Gobbler's Knob.

The Groundhog Day tradition is rooted in a German superstition that if an animal casts a shadow on Feb. 2 _ the Christian holiday of Candlemas _ bad weather is coming.

Most years, including the past three, Phil has seen his shadow.

For anyone unhappy with Phil's forecast Sunday, the official groundhogs of Ohio and Georgia had a different take on the weather: Neither General Beauregard Lee, lured from his miniature antebellum mansion in Lilburn, Ga., with a bowl of hash browns, nor Marion, Ohio's Buckeye Chuck saw a shadow.

Oct 10, 2001
They say we're young and we don't know
We won't find out until we grow
Well I don't know if all that's true
Cause you got me and baby I got you... babe
I got you babe, I got you babe

They say our love won't pay the rent
Before it's earned our money's all been spent
I guess that's so we don't have a pot
But at least I'm sure of all the things we got... babe

I got you babe, I got you babe

I got flowers in the spring
I got you to wear my ring
And when I'm sad you're a clown
And if I get scared you're always around

So let them say your hair's too long
Cause I don't care with you I can't do wrong
Then put your little hand in mine
There aint no hill or mountain we can't climb... babe

I got you babe, I got you babe

I got you to hold my hand
I got you to understand
I got you to walk with me
I got you to talk with me
I got you to kiss goodnight
I got you to hold me tight
I got you I won't let go
I got you to love me so
I got you babe

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