"First, about those groundhogs: When you look back at the historical record, the Groundhog Day story appears to be a blend of several weather-related folktales. Long before the days of Doppler radar, Europeans put great stock in Feb. 2, or Candlemas Day on the church calendar, as a weather indicator at the halfway point between the winter solstice and the spring equinox.
Clear weather on Candlemas was seen as a harbinger of snowy weather to come, while cloudy weather held the promise that things would get better in the weeks ahead. Some have speculated that there was a shred of meteorological truth behind the folktale: Clear skies in early February could be associated with persistent masses of cold, dry air that would prolong low temperatures, while cloudy skies could hint at wetter, more temperate days ahead.
The Germans added animal lore to their Candlemas story, saying that if the weather was sunny enough to scare a badger back into its hole, there were more wintry days to come. When German immigrants came to America (and settled in places like Punxsutawney, Pa.), the groundhog took the place of the badger."
Channel 4 was talking about Olentandy Olga.... a muskrat in Delaware County??? Weather prognosticator? Muskrat love?
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Copyright 2008 Discover Columbus and Maureen McCabe