National Groundhog Day on February 2nd each year asks one question. Will he see his shadow? Ok, well, maybe it asks another question. Will there be six more weeks of winter? The day is celebrated each year in the United States and Canada.
Traditionally the groundhog awakens from his nap for a nice welcomed break during the winter to see if he can see his shadow. Many believe if the groundhog sees his shadow, there will be six more weeks of winter. If this is so, he retreats into his den and goes back to sleep. However, if he does not see his shadow, the groundhog remains outside to play, and people celebrate, believing spring is just around the corner.
The tradition of predicting the length of the remaining winter is intertwined with the Christian holiday, Candlemas. The clergy would bless candles symbolizing the ‘light of the world’ to give to their congregations. Another tradition associated with this day is eating crepes. Germans practiced the art of predicting the winter with a hedgehog. When they arrived in the United States, they settled in the hills of Pennsylvania, and the groundhog became the official predictor.
Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, has hosted the annual Groundhog day event. Thousands of people come to the town of Punxsutawney on Groundhog Day for this day of celebration.
Although already a well-known day, Groundhog Day received widespread attention due to the 1993 film Groundhog Day, which was set in Punxsutawney and portrayed Roger Rininger as the groundhog.
HOW TO OBSERVE NATIONAL GROUNDHOG DAY
Watch Punxsutawney Phil and see if he sees his shadow.
Make your own prediction for National Groundhog Day.
Watch a documentary about groundhogs.
Watch Groundhog the movie. And then, watch it again.
Read the Farmer’s Almanac to determine the likelihood of an early spring. Does Phil agree?
Look for your shadow.
Use #NationalGroundhogDay on social media.
NATIONAL GROUNDHOG DAY HISTORY
An early American reference to Groundhog Day can be found in a diary entry by storekeeper James Morris, dated February 4th, 1841, of Berks County, Pennsylvania.
“Last Tuesday, the 2nd, was Candlemas day, the day on which, according to the Germans, the groundhog peeps out of his winter quarters and if he sees his shadow he pops back for another six weeks nap, but if the day be cloudy he remains out, as the weather is to be moderate.”
A group of whale watchers off the coast of Southern California had the rare privilege of witnessing the moment a grey whale gave birth.
Passengers aboard Capt. Dave’s Dolphin & Whale Watching Safari enjoyed the extraordinary event off the coast of Dana Point, between Los Angeles and San Diego.
A company spokesperson said the crew had noticed the whale behaving sporadically, as they steered the boat slowly toward the animal.
“Passengers and crew saw something orange- and red-colored in the water they thought might have been kelp.” Instead, a newborn calf rose to the surface. The mother brought her baby right up to a small boat—as if to show it off.
“For a minute, many of us thought it may be a shark or predatory event. But, instead of the end of life, it was the beginning of a new one!”
The calf can be seen learning how to swim with the help of its mother. Several small boats were floating in the area, while a woman can be heard gasping with awe and delight at the rare sight.
According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Marine Fisheries Service, grey whales are often curious toward boats, making them ideal subjects for whale-watching tours.
Eastern North Pacific grey whales migrate 10,000 to 14,000 miles along the western US Coast, and often give birth in the warm waters nearby in Baja California, Mexico—with newborns measuring 15 feet long and weighing about 2,000 pounds.
Each week, #SpanningtheNeed will present an “Inspirational Person of the Week’ and have a “Q & A” with one of its many gifted individuals and/or groups who are willing to go out of their own way to help others. This week’s featured is Diane Less, Co-Founder from Angels for Animals.
Name: Diane Less Position: Co-Founder
Organization: Angels for Animals Bio 1976-Fine Arts Major, Mount Union College, Alliance, Ohio
Art Director-Spotted Horse Studios-Commercial artist specializing in painting, sculpture and ceramics. 50 years in business with partner, Bill Baird doing vehicle graphics and custom signage- spottedhorsestudio.com. Founded Angels for Animals, June 1990 with Polly Hayes. My hobby job is to educate the public about animal care and especially the benefits to society and the individual regarding the importance of spaying and neutering.
What made you want to go into this field?
What’s the biggest factor that has helped you be successful?
What is the biggest professional mistake you made along the way? I think as far as mistakes, I prefer to think of it as a series of corrections. Things have gone so well for this organization considering our business is unchartered There is nothing like Angels for Animals anywhere. It is truly a complete circle, guided by faith in God, that we do the right thing for animals.
What is the hardest decision you ever had to make in this field? That we would strive to become an open access animal shelter so that no pets will be turned away, even when the outcome is not the one you desire.
If you could start all over again, what would you do differently regarding your profession? As I said, every day is filled with questioning and constant course correction. It’s like going to the moon you just can’t get off course, or you will be lost.
What inspires you to do good in our community? The desire to end the needless death and suffering of companion
What do you enjoy most about volunteering in our community? Seeing people educated and enjoying their pets more because of it ..
What song best describes you or is the soundtrack to your life? “On Eagles Wings” by Michael Joncas
What is your best accomplishment/experience in life? The Angels for Animals complex-2019 Guinness Book of World Records- tallest cat tree and the Ohio Room mural at Beaver Creek Wildlife Center
Who is your role model and Why? The Lord Jesus Christ
If there was one person that you would like to meet, past or present and why? The Lord Jesus Christ
A favorite quote that you live by? Help everyone you can, whenever you can. – Rule of St. Francis
National Dress Up Your Pet Day on January 14th provides a special day to celebrate with your pet and show off their fashion style. Pets do become part of one’s family. Whether you take a visit to the groomer or take it a step further and dress up in matching outfits, be sure your pet companion is safe and comfortable.
Please remember to keep your pets safe and comfortable in the pet clothing and costumes that you choose.
Tips for dressing up your pet:
If your pet just doesn’t like dressing up, let them sit this holiday out.
Be sure it fits. Restricting movement or ability to breathe can cause injury or illness.
Many pets like to chew. Avoid loose or dangling pieces which can cause choking hazards.
HOW TO OBSERVE NATIONAL DRESS UP YOUR PET DAY
The name of the day tells you how to celebrate it; dress your pets up! Keep your pet’s comfort first and foremost. A visit to the groomer for a bit of polish and trim always improves our pet companion’s appearance. Get a snazzy bandana, bow, or collar to show off the fresh do. How about a sweater for chilly, long walks? If the tutu is too, too much, your pooch will let you know. Be sure to share your favorite pet poses with us. We love to see how you #CelebrateEveryDay. Use #DressUpYourPetDay to post on social media.
NATIONAL DRESS UP YOUR PET DAY HISTORY
National Dress Up Your Pet Day was founded in 2009 by Celebrity Pet Lifestyle Expert and Animal Behaviorist, Colleen Paige.