Groundhog Day is February 2 of every year. The lore goes like this: The groundhog emerges from hibernation in its burrow. If it is cloudy outside and the groundhog has no shadow, then spring will come early that year. If it is sunny and the groundhog does have a shadow, then that means there's six more weeks of winter in store for us. The groundhog has done his duty and back into hibernation he goes!
Image via Flickr/David St. Louis
The film "Groundhog Day" put Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, on the map, so to speak. After the release of the movie in 1993, the town became a large tourist destination for fans. They were visiting the wrong town, however. "Groundhog Day" was filmed in Woodstock, Ill.
Image: Columbia Pictures via The Loop
The most famous groundhog is easily Punxsutawney Phil of Pennsylvania. The name is given to the series of groundhogs who reside in the town of Punxsutawney and come out of their burrows every February to see or not see their shadow. The town holds a massive celebration in his honor and has been doing so for years.
Image via Imgur
Groundhogs are very solitary creatures. They spend most of their time on their own, only finding members of the opposite sex when they are ready to mate. For the rest of the time, groundhogs stay by themselves.
Image via Flickr/Jpimentel1182
After finding a mate to get the deed done, female groundhogs give birth to a litter of newborns in the spring. The babies only stay with their mother for a few months, and after they are weaned, they go off on their own. The young offspring continue the tradition of groundhogs living on their own.
Image via Flickr/Gregory Laing
Groundhogs have a "feast or famine" lifestyle. They spend the summer months constantly filling themselves with food and building up their fat reserves. Once winter starts to set in, groundhogs retreat to their burrows and hibernate for months at a time until spring arrives.
Image via Flickr/Colin Knowles
Groundhogs are pests to farmers and gardeners alike. The giant rodents can destroy crops and gardens in mere minutes, chowing down on everything in sight. Farmers also can have broken machinery, caused by their tractors trying to go over the groundhogs' burrows. Groundhogs also like to crawl under sheds, creating little homes for themselves and generally being an annoyance to homeowners.
Image via Flickr/Gilles Gonthier
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