3 minutes reading time (502 words)

Georgia's Favorite Groundhog

Around the fifth century, the European Celts believed that animals had certain "supernatural" powers on special days that were half-way between the Winter Equinox and Spring Solstice. Folklore from Germany and France indicated that when groundhogs and bears came out of their winter dens too early, they were frightened by their shadow and retreated back inside for four to six weeks.

When Christianity came into being, the formerly pagan observance was called "Candlemas Day." In America, Candlemas Day became "Groundhog Day.” The current tradition calls for an early sprig if the groundhog does not see his shadow. However, if the groundhog sees his shadow, we can expect at least six more weeks of winter.

Many years ago, the staff of The Yellow River Game Ranch noticed that General Lee Beauregard did emerge on Groundhog Day; and they decided to start watching him a bit more closely.

Beau, as he’s better known as, works only on February 2nd and he draws worldwide media attention. Beau has been recognized for his public service to Americans by four Georgia Governors; and has twice been commended for the accuracy of his predictions by The National Weather Service, has received honorary doctorates from The University of Georgia – "DWP, Doctor of Weather Prognostication" and Georgia State University – "Doctor of Southern Groundology."

Beau emerges when he wishes to on February 2nd; and Game Ranch staff never knows in advance what his prediction will be. "Only The Beau Knows

General Lee resides at The Yellow River Game Ranch along with six hundred other animals and birds indigenous to Georgia. The 24 acre people-friendly animal preserve is located in Gwinnett County.



About Groundhogs

Groundhogs or Woodchucks are large rodents. They breed in late winter and have a litter ranging from 3-6 in the spring. They are primarily diurnal (active during the day) and they are herbivorous, eating a wide variety of plants. Groundhogs are diggers; they excavate tunnels and burrows underground, in which they live and raise their young. The main tunnel may have up to five entrances and 50 feet of total tunnel distance. They create a den to live in, and to hibernate in. Groundhogs are considered agricultural pests, since they love to eat a wide variety of crops. However, their burrowing habits often cause a bigger problem. Horses can break their legs by stepping into burrows, and when a groundhog digs under a house or deck, the removal of soil can undermine the foundation.

The best control methods are professional trapping and removal.

If you have a groundhog or woodchuck problem, contact a professional today.

Skyline Pest Solutions

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*From http://www.yellowrivergameranch.com/

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