Groundhog Day: 6 Surprising Things about Our Furry Weather Forecasters
Get Ready to See Punxsutawney Phil Come Out of His Burrow on February 2nd
While weather forecasters may have already projected more days of snowy weather ahead, many Americans would remain skeptical — unless the groundhog has the same prediction for them!
According to folklore, if the creature emerges from its burrow on the 2nd of February and doesn’t see its shadow, spring will start early. If it’s a perfectly sunny day and the woodchuck sees its shadow, it’s telling us to expect six more weeks of winter.
Folks have been putting their faith in the groundhog’s instincts to predict the weather for more than 150 years already. However, meteorologists have never been on board with the idea, believing that it’s just mere superstition.
Still, that doesn’t stop believers all over the country from celebrating Groundhog Day each year.
On this day, thousands of visitors would flock to the town of Punxsutawney in Pennsylvania to witness the official groundhog, Punxsutawney Phil, come out of his burrow to decide the fate of winter. As with any festival, it comes with food, dancing, music, and various activities, including celebratory skits and speeches. Other states also have their own rodents to do the forecasting.
The 6 Things about Groundhogs that Might Surprise You
Punxsutawney Phil and his friends are more than just weather predictors. As a matter of fact, there’s a lot of interesting things about these burrow dwellers that could make you love them even more. Here are several lesser-known facts about our favorite furry weather forecasters:
- They can build elaborate homes.
Aside from their weather predicting skills, groundhogs can wow you with their ability to construct their burrows. These burrows can be anywhere from 8 to 66 feet long, and they come with multiple exits and rooms, including a private bathroom. What’s even more impressive is that they know how to prevent heat loss by blocking the entrances using vegetation.
- They can climb trees and swim.
Believe it or not, groundhogs are pretty good at climbing trees and swimming, too. If they sense any predators nearby and they couldn’t get to their burrows fast enough, they’d either use their sharp claws to climb a tree or jump into a swamp and swim to safety. Seriously, what can they not do?
- They whistle to warn their fellow woodchucks of potential danger.
Although they prefer to be alone most of the time, groundhogs tend to look out for each other. As soon as they detect a threat, they immediately whistle to alert the others.
- They can hibernate for as long as 5 months.
During this period, their body temperature drops to 60 degrees Fahrenheit, their heart rate slows down to only 5 or 10 beats per minute, and they lose a quarter of their body weight. To sustain themselves after 150 days of no eating, these true hibernators would feast all summer long on veggies, insects, snails, bird eggs, and even small animals.
- They might be replaced with robots in the future.
Groundhog Day has been an issue for some animal rights groups for many years now. Activists have been vocal about the event, arguing that these solitary creatures should not be put on display, let alone interrupted from their hibernation cycle. People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) even wants them replaced with robot groundhogs equipped with AI that can detect shadows.
- They look to mate after waking up.
These rodents waste no time when it comes to mating. After emerging from a deep slumber lasting three to five months, usually around spring, the first thing they’d do is to look for other groundhogs to mate with.
Start Springtime with a Heartwarming Gesture
Groundhog Day may usher in the lovely spring season, that time of the year when people traditionally clean their homes and get rid of things that they no longer need.
If you have an old and worn-out car or any other type of vehicle, hand it over to us at Goodwill Car Donations. We’ll use it to improve the living conditions of the less fortunate people in your community. These include those residents who are burdened with disabilities, lack of education or essential skills, and other disadvantages that have kept them stuck in the mire of poverty for ages.
We’ll sell your auto donation through an auction and then use the proceeds to support the community-based development programs of the Goodwill organizations serving your local area. These IRS-certified 501(c)(3) nonprofits cater to disadvantaged individuals, offering them job and skills training, livelihood assistance, youth employment, mentoring, internship, financial aid, and disability benefits support.
As a donor, you’ll be entitled to the maximum tax deduction. We’ll mail you the 100% tax-deductible sales receipt of your vehicle in less than 30 days after its sale. You can then use this receipt to claim your tax write-off in the next tax season.
You will also benefit from our free towing service, which we provide to our donors in all parts of the U.S.
Your gift will also allow you to savor the satisfaction of serving your community by helping empower your less fortunate neighbors.
Almost all types of vehicles are qualified for our donation program. Apart from cars, we also accept RVs, motorcycles, boats, scooters, golf carts, trucks, vans, and many others. Plus, they don’t have to be in good condition when we pick them up.
Help Create a Brighter Future for Your Less Fortunate Neighbors
Give your ancient car a new purpose today, one that can transform lives in so many ways. Donate it to us and you’ll soon be seeing happy faces in your community. Call Goodwill Car Donations at 866-233-8586 or fill out our online donation form now!