Wednesday, February 3, 2010

His Shadow Controls Mercury

True to form, Dusty D is a day late and a dollar short.

"If only pictures could talk in the newspapers like they do in the movies, we would learn from Mr. Groundhog first hand whether we're due for six more weeks of winter, or whether spring is at hand..." --Ypsilanti Daily Press, February 2, 1934

History of Groundhog Day
"Pennsylvania's earliest settlers were Germans and they found groundhogs to in profusion in many parts of the state. They determined that the groundhog, resembling the European hedgehog, was a most intelligent and sensible animal and therefore decided that if the sun did appear on February 2nd, so wise an animal as the groundhog would see its shadow and hurry back into its underground home for another six weeks of winter.

"The Germans recited:

"For as the sun shines on Candlemas Day,
So far will the snow swirl until the May.

"This passage may be the one most closely represented by the first Punxsutawney Groundhog Day observances because there were references to the length of shadows in early Groundhog Day predictions.

"Another February 2nd belief, used by American 19th century farmers, was:

"Groundhog Day - Half your hay.

"New England farmers knew that we were not close to the end of winter, no matter how cloudy February 2nd was. Indeed, February 2nd is often the heart of winter. If the farmer didn't have half his hay remaining, there may have been lean times for the cows before spring and fresh grass arrived." --more history from here

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