Marmot with the peak of Grossglockner in the background, Austria
© SeppFriedhuber/Getty Image
Groundhog Day. Casting a shadow over spring?
For many of us, the last year has been a bit like the movie Groundhog Day, with every day feeling the same. Well, today is the real thing and we’re marking it with a homepage marmot (the groundhog is a type of marmot). In the US and Canada, legend has it that if the groundhog sees its shadow, six more weeks of winter are in store. If it doesn't, then we're looking at an early spring. Sadly, there's no science behind it; the custom has its roots in Pennsylvania Dutch culture and was popularised by the Punxsutawney Spirit newspaper in Pennsylvania in 1887 - and again, of course, by the Bill Murray movie in 1993. We're not sure what it means for the forecast if a groundhog sees a rainbow but it feels like a good sign. Let’s keep our fingers crossed, spring can’t come soon enough.