The custom of predicting the persistence of winter or an early spring by observing a groundhog at sunrise likely predates the first official Groundhog Day in 1887. The superstition is rooted in the ancient Christian holiday Candlemas, celebrated on 2 February — the midpoint between the winter solstice + the spring equinox:

“If Candlemas Day be fair and bright,
Winter will have another flight;
But if it be dark with clouds and rain,
Winter is gone, and will not come again.”

In France, the 2nd of February is known as La Chandeleur or Jour des crêpes, when families eat crêpes. The French, in keeping with this tradition, also prognosticate with the buttery stacks. Bien sûr!

Since we had a cloudy, rainy morning that gave way to a clear sunny, albeit cold, afternoon, I called Groundhog Day a draw, and in lieu of crêpes. we ate Friday night pizza + pancakes this morning. And now, garden dreaming for 2018 commences! It’s never too early. How about you?

Have a most delightful, warm weekend, and sneak a quick look at the latest links + updates before you go stock up on gameday goodies. We’re making French onion soup with homemade baked Brick cheese + wonton wrapper “mozzarella sticks,” mmm!

Cheers, Heather

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Some interesting, fun, delicious reads:

  • February is International Prenatal Infection Prevention Month. Pregnant women are especially susceptible to certain diseases and infections. Learn how best to protect yourself and your unborn baby.
  • Nope. (Did I hint that these would be delicious links? Sorry.)
  • Which of these birds are in your backyard?
  • The two-list to-do list.
  • If you think IPAs aren’t your thing, explore more.
  • I could never successfully turban my bath towel.
  • This week’s pinned words of wisdom.

Recently on HGN:

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Learn about my NEW downloadable nutrition guides

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From the Author


  1. Sandy says:

    I loved the history lesson on predicting the arrival of Spring – I had no idea! Will be spending some time getting to know my backyard birds better as I anxiously await their arrival – the true predictor of the end of Winter in these parts. The article on IPAs will come in handy as a Madison mini-vacation with brewery exploration is in the works for this month. Happy garden planning!

    • Heather Goesch, MPH, RDN, LDN says:

      Fascinating, isn’t it? I had no idea of its origins either, but enjoyed all of the stories. Here’s hoping that, while adorable, your little winter birds are soon outnumbered by their spring counterparts, and that you have a delicious + sunny weekend in Madison! Say hi to all of our favorite old haunts for us :)

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