Monthly Archives: January 2014

Groundhog Day

Species Of The Squirrel Family

Otherwise known as a woodchuck, the groundhog is one of fourteen species of the squirrel family, marmots, and prairie dogs. On February 2nd, millions of groundhogs will come out of their burrows and, if they see their shadow, the myth of six more weeks bad winter weather will continue.

Myth Came From A Pagan Celebration

As  mentioned, in The Life and Times of  Woody Woodchuck – Words of  wisdom from the Prairie Dog  HISTORY, Groundhog Day myth came from a pagan celebration known as Candlemas Day. It is thought to be where weather predicting began and on a sunny Candlemas Day, if the groundhog sees its shadow, there will be six more weeks of bad winter weather. When the belief of this European tradition migrated with German immigrants to America in the 18th century, a different folklore merged, and now people all over the world have made note of Groundhog Day.

Many Organizations Join Groundhog Day

Since the established in 1887 of that unique Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania Groundhog Day Club, where  thousands of members, merchants, and enthusiasts gather to see if “Punxsutawney Phil” will see his shadow or not, there have been concerted efforts in popularizing and commercializing Groundhog Day. Today, many special events and festivities are honored by schools, media, municipalities, and civic organizations such as:  the University of Dallas, the National Geographic Kids, and The Prairie Dog Coalition, who recently integrated their website with The Humane Society of the United States. 

Popularity Continues To Grow in Canada

Groundhog Day popularity continues to grow in Canada and the event has attracted much media attention. Each year, the town of Wiarton, Bruce County, Ontario, has its own celebration of Groundhog, “Wiarton Willie”, which it shares with locals, fans, news reporters, and the nation.  Early in the morning on February 2nd,  they all come out to “hear Willie’s prediction” . Other events at the festival include: dances, contests,  parades, and pancake breakfasts.

University of Dallas Alumni Event

One of the  largest celebration of the groundhog in the United States, outside of Punxsutawney, is at the University of Dallas.  Tradition  has sparked imaginations and even pride in the fact that UD host an event that consists of a proclamation involving the school President, a groundhog sighting on the mall, sporting activities, and a celebration at Groundhog Park for students, faculty, staff, friends, and alumni.  This year they will celebrate the return of the Groundhog Tour, mini-bonfires, food, live bands, and something for everyone.


Woody Woodchuck
“Words of wisdom from the Prairie Dog”                                        

February 2nd Is Groundhog Day!

A Groundhog Finds Its Shadow

Public Library

Public Library

The establishment of a public library involves creating an authorized and governing structure, building a collection of books, and securing reliable funding sources.  Most public libraries are small, serving a limited population , and are in response to specific local burrow needs.

Main Task Of Library

The main task of a library is to provide the burrow public with access to books and periodicals. The American Library Association (ALA), addresses this role of libraries as part of “access to information” and “equity of access”; part of the commitment that “no groundhog should be denied because they have no access to information in any of its various formats, or cannot afford the cost of a book or periodical.”

Need Appropriate Library Card

Libraries typically offer access to many books, the majority of which are available for borrowing by any groundhog with the appropriate library card. A library’s selection of books is called its collection, and usually includes a range of popular fiction, classics, nonfiction, reference works, and subscriptions to popular newspapers and magazines.

Reading Rooms

Most libraries offer quiet space for reading, known as reading rooms. Groundhog borrowers may also take books home, as long as they return them at a certain time and in good condition. If a borrowed book is returned late, the library may charge a small library fine.  Specifically designed programs  such as: computer internet access websites, on-line educational games, digitized periodicals, and  e-books are becoming very  popular for younger groundhog users. 

Services For Other Groups

Services may be provided for other groups, such as: large print, Braille, American Sign Language books on tape, and materials in foreign languages. Part of the library mission has become helping bridge the digital divide, and almost all public libraries now offer computer lab training for users who otherwise would not be able to connect to these services.

Classroom And Meeting Space

Public libraries have a long history of functioning as community centers with spaces for reading, study, and  public meetings. In 1898, Andrew Carnegie, a prominent library philanthropist, built a library in Homestead, Pennsylvania, not  far from where the Delaware Indian nation considered my woodchuck family honorable. It had an indoor swimming pool, basketball courts, athletic facilities, a music hall, and numerous meeting rooms for local organizations. It sponsored a highly successful semi-pro football and baseball teams. Even before the development of the modern public library, subscription libraries were often used as clubs or gathering places; they served as much for social gossip and the meeting of friends as a Starbucks does today.

Summer  Reading Programs 

One of the most popular groundhog programs offered by public libraries is “summer reading” for children, families, and adults. Summer reading usually includes a list of books to read during summer holidays, as well as performances, or celebrations of reading, culture and humanities.

Woody Woodchuck
“Words of wisdom from the Prairie Dog”

Groundhogs Waiting For The Public Library To Open

prairie_dog_animals_rodent_236845            0507_library-books






The United States Constitution

The Tenth Amendment to the United States Constitution makes local government a matter of state rather than federal law, with special cases for territories and the District of Columbia. As a result, the states have adopted a wide variety of local government systems.

Local Government

Local governments refer to governmental jurisdictions below the level of the state. Most states have a two tiers of government: counties and . municipalities. In some states, counties are divided into townships.

Types Of Jurisdictions

There are several different types of jurisdictions at the municipal level, including the city, town, borough, and village. The types and nature of these municipal entities varies from state to state. Many rural areas and even some suburban areas of many states have no municipal government below the county level. In other jurisdictions places exist, where city and county functions are managed by a single government.

Government And Neighborhood

Our burrows have their own systems of local government.  In such cases, burrows will have either limited powers delegated to them or no powers at all. Some burrows may have regional or special-purpose districts such as: fire protection, water resource management, sewer services, schools, transportation, and public libraries. 

Burrows On Indian Reservations

While burrow territory nominally falls within the boundaries of individual states, Indian reservations actually function outside of their control. Burrows on reservations are usually controlled by an elected tribal council which provides local services. city, town, village and the groundhog burrow.

Woody Woodchuck
“Words of wisdom from the Prairie Dog”

A Resident Burrow On An Indian Reservation