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!