An online resource based on the award-winning nature guide

Happy Groundhog Day !

2-2-18 woodchuck IMG_2381The Woodchuck, or Groundhog, is one lucky creature, considering past practices. The observation of “Groundhog Day” originated in the mid-1800’s, and by the late 1800’s and early 1900’s the celebration consisted of feasting on this rodent. A formalized hunt took place and participants then dined on Groundhog (which purportedly tastes like a cross between chicken and pork) and drank Groundhog punch. Since then, the Groundhog has evolved into a forecaster of weather, rather than a meal.

While New England Woodchucks are curled up in their hibernacula,  Punxsutawney Phil is busy seeing if he can see his shadow today (in which case we’re in for six more weeks of winter) or whether cloudy skies will prevent that from happening and spring is right around the corner. I’d bet on the former.

Naturally Curious is supported by donations. If you choose to contribute, you may go to http://www.naturallycuriouswithmaryholland.wordpress.com and click on the yellow “donate” button.

15 responses

  1. Jonathan Schwartz

    Not at all like chicken or pork. More like old mutton.

    February 2, 2018 at 8:18 am

  2. And they really can’t see very well at all. I was downwind of a little one in my back yard. He was moving toward me at a good pace and was within five feet before he realized I was there. Since I hadn’t been moving, I assume he finally caught my scent. He went around me, instead. As long as they don’t eat my garden, they are welcome!

    February 2, 2018 at 8:28 am

  3. Sue Wetmore

    Phil should be glad that he’s not on the menu! As for the prediction we either get six more weeks of winter or spring will arrive in about a month and a half.

    February 2, 2018 at 8:30 am

  4. Diane

    Not seeing his shadow in SE, PA.

    February 2, 2018 at 8:34 am

  5. Rita Pitkin

    Hahaha. Pretty safe bet in northern Vermont! Think I’ll pass on the taste test.

    February 2, 2018 at 8:56 am

  6. I’ve always figured that six more weeks of winter would be a hopeful prediction for us in Vermont. Winter over by mid-March – that would be good news!

    February 2, 2018 at 9:12 am

  7. Lou

    Why a groundhog is a mystery, but the date, Feb. 2nd, is about half way between the winter solstice and spring equinox , similar to other pagan days of celebration like May Day and Hallowe’en. Now, if I can only find a recipe for groundhog punch….

    February 2, 2018 at 9:16 am

  8. Cheron barton

    🤗 Morning😘😘

    Sent from my iPhone

    >

    February 2, 2018 at 9:34 am

  9. He would have to dig his way out from a pretty good layer of ice and hard snow here!

    February 2, 2018 at 9:35 am

  10. Thanks for the historical reference! Ugh–Hopefully folks have stopped eating them.

    February 2, 2018 at 10:26 am

  11. Clyde

    My Great Aunt in South Woodstock used to serve woodchuck to the hired help.

    February 2, 2018 at 11:11 am

    • !!!!!

      February 2, 2018 at 11:43 am

    • Alice Pratt

      Hope it had a pie crust…..

      February 2, 2018 at 6:54 pm

  12. Hibernators are typically absent from islands, and our island in Maine is no exception.

    February 2, 2018 at 1:06 pm

Leave a Reply to Rita Pitkin Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s