Happy Groundhog Day!

Woodchuck Day!

February 2 is Woodchuck Day!

Groundhog, Marmota monax, woodchuck, or whistlepig Adapted from image courtesy EIC
Groundhog, Marmota monax, woodchuck, or whistlepig Adapted from image courtesy EIC

According to standard legend, if it is cloudy when a woodchuck emerges from its burrow on February 2, and the woodchuck spies no shadow then the spring season will be arriving very soon, before the vernal equinox; if it is sunny on February 2, the woodchuck will supposedly see its shadow and retreat back into its den, and winter weather will persist for six more weeks.

What? No, no, no! This is all wrong, it is groundhog day on February 2, and the groundhog is the one to watch to find out if the groundhog sees its shadow or not.

One problem, however the groundhog with botanical name Marmota monax, is also called a woodchuck , or whistlepig. Marmot has etymological origins meaning “a mountain of a mouse”, or “mountain rodent” a marmot or being a large ground dwelling rodent. Monax meaning digger.

“The world’s a puzzle; no need to make sense out of it.” – Socrates”

Groundhog, Marmota monax, woodchuck, or whistlepig Adapted from Cephas.
Groundhog, Marmota monax, woodchuck, or whistlepig Adapted from Cephas.

So the groundhog, or woodchuck can grow between 0.5 to 1 meter ( 1-1/2 to three feet ) in length, and weigh in at 2 to 6 kilograms ( 5 to 14 pounds). They can be found on the forest edge, feeding on grasses, dandelion, chickweed, and clovers through the summer, and hibernating in the winter. They are a large rodent, but still belong to the squirrel family.

At any rate, whether the groundhog or the woodchuck sees its shadow or not, at this time of the year, February 2, it is midway between the solstice and the equinox, the dark days of the year are behind us. There are two solstice each year; in summer (about June 21) it is the longest day of the year and in winter (around December 21) which is the shortest day of the year. The equinox also occurs twice a year around March 20 and September 23 when the length of day and night are nearly identical. So groundhog day marks the changeover between the darkest time of the year in December the shortest day to spring or Vernal Equinox in March when day and night are on even terms.

“How much wood would a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood?
or how about:
Quantum materiae materietur marmota monax si marmota monax materiam
possit materiari?”*

So however you say it; Happy Groundhog’s Day, Happy Woodchuck Day or “Felicem Diem Marmota monaxi”, have fun this February 2!

Carry on with some great weather watching as in the links below! And the range in North America places the groundhog through central and northern Saskatchewan, so keep your eyes open for the groundhog in Saskatoon. As a groundhog is a part of the Squirrel family (Sciuridae), that even helps out for Squirrel Appreciation Day, which can be every day, after hibernation, once you find one!!!

If Man is the most advanced creature in the animal kingdom and the tree is the highest development in the plant kingdom, surely the fruit of the tree, rather than the carcasses of inferior animals, is the natural diet for man.~Richard St. Barbe Baker


Anecdata to share environmental data.

Be a weather detective.

Citizen Weather Observer Program. Russ Chadwick. Apr 24, 2014.

CoCoRahs Community Collaborative Rain, Hail and Snow Network. How to measure precipitation.

Cooperative Observer Program. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. NOAA, National Weather Service

Equinox. Wikipedia.

Groundhog Wikipedia.

Groundhog Day Wikipedia.

How much wood would a woodchuck chuck Wikipedia.

I See Change: The Almanac Don’t Just Talk About The Weather… Document It.

The Local Environmental Observer LEO Network. The eyes, ears, and voice of our changing environment.

National Weather Service. Windchill calculator

NOAA, National Archives team up with citizen-scientists to reconstruct historical climate of the Arctic Wednesday, October 24, 2012

* No Title Maureen with Latin phrases on Evil Genius Chronicles.


SatCam App Send in sky scenes to the Space Science and Engineering Centre SSEC, and receive a satellite image of the area in real time.

Solstice Wikipedia.

Yoder, Dan. Groundhog Day
Book Collection Nonfiction: Middle School Edition
Book Collection: Nonfiction
Edition illustrated
Publisher Stackpole Books, 2003
ISBN 0811700291, 9780811700290

Youth, Howard. Field Guide to the Natural World of Washington, Woodchuck (Groundhog) Marmota monax, Part 3
Field Guide to the Natural World of Washington, D.C.
Photographs by Robert E. Mumford, Jr.
Illustrated by Mark A. Klingler
Contributor Kirk Johnson
Edition illustrated
Publisher JHU Press, 2014
ISBN 1421412322, 9781421412320

Weather forecasting YouTube

“Not every puzzle is intended to be solved. Some are in place to test your limits. Others are, in fact, not puzzles at all…”  Vera Nazarian

For more information:

Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area is located in Saskatoon, SK, CA north of Cedar Villa Road, within city limits, in the furthest south west area of the city.
Wikimapia Map: type in Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area
Google Maps South West Off Leash area location pin at parking lot
Web page: https://stbarbebaker.wordpress.com

Where is the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area? with map

Facebook: StBarbeBaker

Facebook group page : Users of the St Barbe Baker Afforestation Area

Facebook: South West Off Leash Recreation Area SW OLRA

Pinterest richardstbarbeb

Tagged Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area

Twitter: St Barbe Baker

Please help protect / enhance your afforestation areas, please contact the Friends of the Saskatoon Afforestation Areas Inc. (e-mail)

Support the afforestation areas with your donation or membership ($20.00/year).  Please donate by paypal using the e-mail friendsafforestation AT gmail.com, or by using e-transfers  Please and thank you!  Your donation and membership is greatly appreciated.  Members e-mail your contact information to be kept up to date!

QR Code FOR PAYPAL DONATIONS to the Friends of the Saskatoon Afforestation Areas Inc.
Payment Options
Membership : $20.00 CAD – yearly
Membership with donation : $50.00 CAD
Membership with donation : $100.00 CAD


1./ Learn.

2./ Experience

3./ Do Something: ***

“…Man must resuscitate his planet with trees,

his heart with faith. So you simplified

survival’s creed. Your coniferous hope

sealed my discipleship. What Sahara

could resist your passion for verdancy?  Richard St. Barbe Baker


Author: stbarbebaker

This website is about the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area - an urban regional park of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada. The hosts are the stewards of the afforestation area. The afforestation area received its name in honour of the great humanitarian, Richard St. Barbe Baker. Richard St. Barbe Baker (9 October 1889 – 9 June 1982) was an English forester, environmental activist and author, who contributed greatly to worldwide reforestation efforts. As a leader, he founded an organization, Men of the Trees, still active today, whose many chapters carry out reforestation internationally. {Wikipedia} Email is StBarbeBaker AT yahoo.com to reach the Stewards of the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area

7 thoughts on “Happy Groundhog Day!”

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