Ask Dollie

My 15 year-old granddaughter called last night with a question. Her teacher mentioned that the groundhog wasn’t always the animal used to predict when spring would arrive, but my granddaughter couldn’t remember what animal came before the groundhog. This is a perfect question for Dollie!

Dollie’s answer: Long ago, people watched nature and animals for signs of spring coming. Animals that stay in their dens during extreme cold or winter storms such as bears, European badgers, or hedgehogs emerge from their dens to check to see it is warm enough to stay out. If they sense that it is still too cold and they can’t find food, they return to their burrows until it is warmer. People watched for these animals to be up and around and knew spring was coming earlier or later than normal.

The European badger was the animal my granddaughter’s teacher has mentioned!

Author: NancyRiley

After a 32-year career as a wildlife biologist with the federal government with various agencies, I retired to the foothills of northern Colorado. I am close to my alma mater, Colorado State University. As some people say, I’m busier now than ever. I write adult and children’s fiction and nonfiction books, stories, and articles. My goal is to entertain, inspire, and educate and I hope to be published – soon!