Sweet Arrow Lake County Park is a popular location for fishing, boating, picnicking and hiking. Periodic programming also occurs and an upcoming program will delight audiences of any age.
You can tell that it is mid-winter with groundhogs being the focal points of predicting how long the season will last. Sweet Arrow Lake has two groundhogs who make predictions.
Grover the Groundhog and Sweet Arrow Sue, being considerate and socially conscious groundhogs, this year will give their prediction virtually for this 15th Annual Groundhog Day Celebration from Sweet Arrow Lake. They will be joined, respecting social distance, by their friend Matthew Dodd who will perform a virtual Groundhog Day concert. Dodd will also tell stories and talk about history too.
Grover and Sue are the only married weather predicting groundhog couple in the state. Both contend that their prediction is more locally-focused and accurate for our area.
Past predictions have an accuracy rate of 85%! Pretty decent work for two PA Dutch groundhogs. The festivities, including the annual Groundhog Day poem, can be viewed for free on the park website at www.sweetarrowlakepark.com or on the Sweet Arrow Lake Facebook page beginning at 7:30 a.m. on Tuesday, February 2.
For more information on this celebration call 570-345-8952
NATURE NUGGET: Falling midway between the winter solstice and the spring equinox, February 2 is a significant day in several ancient and modern traditions. The Celts, for instance, celebrated it as Imbolc, a pagan festival marking the beginning of spring.
As Christianity spread through Europe, Imbolc evolved into Candlemas, a feast commemorating the presentation of Jesus at the holy temple in Jerusalem. In certain parts of Europe, Christians believed that a sunny Candlemas meant another 40 days of cold and snow.
Germans developed their own take on the legend, pronouncing the day sunny only if badgers and other small animals glimpsed their own shadows. When German immigrants settled Pennsylvania in the 18th and 19th centuries, they brought the custom with them, choosing the native groundhog as the annual forecaster.
“Porcupine Pat” McKinney is environmental education coordinator for the Schuylkill Conservation District and provides programming for people of all ages with an emphasis on schools, public programming and nature center development. “Porcupine Pat” hails from Marion, Ohio and has a BS with Distinction in Natural Resources – Environmental Interpretation from Ohio State. He is a recipient of the prestigious Sandy Cochran Award for Excellence in Natural Resources Education from the PA Forestry Association, the Schuylkill Pride Award, and the PAEE “Outstanding Environmental Educator Award.”