Rural Missouri - February 2012 - (Page 34)
The Weather Prognosticator
i friends! Do you know what we celebrate on Feb. 2? Groundhog Day! According to legend, on this winter day, the groundhog wakes up from his nap and goes outside his den. If he sees his shadow, which would be a sunny morning, there will be six more weeks of winter. If it happens to be a cloudy day and he doesn’t see his shadow, that means spring is just around the corner. This tradition of foretelling the weather comes from Germany. The immigrants brought the custom with them from their homeland. When they settled in Pennsylvania, they began using the groundhog (also known as a woodchuck or whistling
pig) to predict when spring would ﬁnally arrive. There’s a famous weather prognosticator (forecaster) named Punxsutawney Phil. He lives in Punxsutawney, Penn., where he pops up every Feb. 2 at a place called Gobbler’s Knob. While there a few other groundhogs around the United States known for their weather forecasting, Phil is probably the most famous. He’s supposedly named after King Phillip. The town of Punxsutawney held its ﬁrst Groundhog Day with an ofﬁcial walk to Gobbler’s Knob on Feb. 2, 1887. This February will be the 126th time a groundhog has come out to foretell more winter weather or bring the news that spring will arrive soon. To learn more about Punxsutawney Phil, check out www.groundhog.org. Groundhog facts: • They usually live for 2 to 3 years in the wild. • They have great eyesight and sensitive hearing. • Their curved claws on their front paws make it easy for them to burrow through dirt. • These members of the squirrel family have four toes on their front feet and ﬁve on the back. • They’re vegetarians. •They whistle when they become alarmed or when they’re looking for a mate. • A baby groundhog is called a kit or cub. • While it’s said that weather makes groundhogs emerge from hibernation, they usually only appear outside their den when it’s time for mating season to begin.
Buddy Bear’s Word Watch
ry your hand at my monthly word watch. It’s easy. I’ll list three words for you to ﬁnd. You read the stories in Rural Missouri and look for the words. When you ﬁnd them, look them up in a dictionary to learn what they mean. Then send me a note telling me the stories where you found the words, what each word means as it’s used in the story and your age. If you get all the words right, your name goes into a drawing to win one of our Buddy Bear drawstring backpacks! We’ll pick up to ﬁve winners each month. Send your answers to:
Buddy Bear’s Word Watch P. O. Box 1645 Jefferson City, MO 65102
Deadline to enter is Feb. 10. Kids, please wait a month before re-entering — and parents, this is only for kids up to age 15. Entries must be handwritten by the youth, please.
Can you ﬁnd this month’s words? 1) penchant 2) shod 3) codger
Congratulations to last month’s winners: Jadon Yannayon, Hannah Husted,Tyler Caldwell, Elizabeth Tucker and Caeton Horn
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Rural Missouri - February 2012
Rural Missouri - February 2012
Table of Contents
A plague of enmity
Out of the Way Eats
Hearth and Home
If the shoe fits
Rural Missouri - February 2012
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