Happy Groundhog Day: Guinea Pig Style


Last year Muffin made her debut at predicting the weather just like Punxsutawney Phil.  While it’s true that Muffin is a Guinea Pig, she is at least as cute as Phil!  You can read all about her first foray into weather prediction here.

This morning Punxsutawney Phil, that delightful groundhog, predicted an early Spring which is great news!  I’m always ready for Spring once we get into February.  Phil was up and predicting at 7:28 a.m. which is a bit early for Muffin, but once she had a leisurely breakfast she was ready to make her prediction.

Here she is getting ready to make Guinea Pig history again (you can’t rush making history!):


And did she agree with Phil?  Yes, she did!  Muffin did not see her shadow (as evidenced in the photo below) and she is happy to announce that there will indeed be an early Spring!  Yhea!


Of course, considering how overcast it was this morning no one would have seen a shadow anywhere.  But Muffin said she looks so good in her outfit that we should ignore such niggling questions and admire her adorableness instead!  After all that hard work she was happy to retire back to her cage for a leisurely lunch (do you see a pattern here?).

A photo of our less then lovely start to the day (taken by Mac):


Fortunately the day turned out to be lovely, despite the gray start, and Muffin is pleased to have played a part in her second annual role as resident Saint Louis MO weather predictor.  Three cheers for Muffin the Guinea Pig (who will gladly except payment for her weather genius in the form of carrots, parsley or cilantro – for all those leisurely meals she likes so much!).

Note:  All pictures of Muffin were taken by Alex.

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Groundhogs & Guinea Pigs: Who Knew?

I don’t know about you but I’ve always been a fan of Groundhog Day — I’m not entirely sure why but I find it an appealing holiday.  Perhaps because it focuses on such a cute furry critter — which I grew up calling a woodchuck by the way.  Or perhaps its because I always live in hope that something, anything will bring winter to an early close!  I’m just not a winter person.

So today is Groundhog Day and the first thing the kids and I did this morning was to look for news about Punxsutawney Phil.  In case you missed it, he is predicting 6 more weeks of winter — sigh.  My only hope in this case is the fact that he only has a 39% accuracy rate!  Cuteness obviously counts for a lot when you’re a groundhog predicting the weather!

PUNXSUTAWNEY, PA - FEBRUARY 2: Groundhog handl...

We also read two excellent books in preparation for Groundhog’s Day this year — one a non-fiction book for kids about the history of Groundhog’s Day (title coming later since Mac took the book to school to share) and the other was Punxsutawney Phyllis about a girl groundhog who dreams of taking Uncle Phil’s place as the annual weather predictor.  The kids thought it was a nice twist on the typical story and enjoyed it.

It also gave my daughter a “great idea” as she put it — if Phyllis could be the all-important Groundhog guru then why not a Guinea Pig named Magic.  Groundhog, Guinea Pig — sure, why not?!

So after we checked in on Phil and everyone was dressed for school we trooped outside with Magic the Magnificent, our own personal  weather prognosticator.

Here she is ready to make her debut:

Yes, unfortunately, as you can see in the next (dramatically staged!) photo, Magic the Magnificent saw her shadow and was forced to agree with Punxsutawney Phil about the continuance of winter — well, fine, just be that way!

Despite this gloomy forecast Magic the Magnificent received the adulation due to her as she made her way inside to a celebratory feast of carrots and parsley.

And there you have it, the First Annual Guinea Pig Winter Prediction by Magic the Magnificent.  You may discuss among yourselves now and prepare for the next six (long) weeks of winter.  I’m personally considering hibernation!!

If you would like to see the Groundhog Day craft we did last year (which Alex saved to hang up again this year — yes, we are the family that decorates for Groundhog Day, don’t you?!) you can find it here:

Let’s Celebrate Groundhog Day with Phil

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Let’s Celebrate Groundhog Day with Phil!

Groundhog Standing1

Image via Wikipedia

February 2nd is that most auspicious day — Groundhog Day!  When we all wait with bated breath to see if Punxsutawney Phil will see his shadow and thus predict six more weeks of winter.  There are other, local groundhogs as well, but Phil is undoubtedly the most famous and well known.

UPDATE: Phil did not see his shadow (no big surprise considering that so much of the United States is covered in snow and is overcast at best) but lets hope that means an early Spring — because I think most of us are ready for that!

We always start with a visit to Phil’s official Groundhog Day page to check out the photos, the weather forecast and videos.  They also have a history of  Groundhog Day.

Did you know that Groundhog day has its roots all the way to the early Christians in England?

Or that the first official Groundhog day was held in Punxsutawney in 1886?

And that Phil appeared on the Oprah Winfrey show in 1995?  I bet he was a great interview subject :-)

If you would like to visit some Groundhogs at our local Saint Louis Zoo they are located in the Children’s Zoo.  I don’t think any of them will be rushing outside in this weather — they’d sink in the snow!

Another way we celebrate Groundhog Day is watching the movie starring Bill Murray — Groundhog Day.  It’s very funny and a perfect movie to hand out indoors with some popcorn, especially when Groundhog Day ends up being cold and snowy like this year.

Next year, we are going to try out this Groundhog Day Cake — it looks adorable and the kids would love to help make it.   This is on our list of to-do things for the future or maybe the Groundhog Cookies on the official site.

Yesterday we worked on a craft to celebrate Groundhog Day.  I found a Punxsutawney Phil Portrait craft over on Kaboose (where there are several games and activities for Groundhog Day including a fun quiz about groundhogs).   I didn’t have felt on hand so we decided to to use construction paper instead and add some googly eyes for fun.

Using the template from Kaboose we cut out the various parts for Phil out of colored construction paper:

Here is Mac working on gluing together the various pieces:

And here is his finished Punxsutawney Phil portrait :-)

Alex spent a lot of time getting her portrait just right:

It takes a lot of time to make the perfect Groundhog portrait apparently!

Here is her finished Groundhog Day portrait of Phil:

Alex thought this was a lot of fun so she started a second Groundhog Day portrait but this time one named Stinker (because he looks rather more like a skunk then a groundhog — he’s unique it seems :-)

After all the portraits were completed we added ribbon and hung them up so we’ll be ready for Phil’s big moment:

And for a couple cute Groundhog Day books Alex and Mac recommend:

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