Over the past few weeks, we have experienced a lot of showers and storms rolling through the Mount Pleasant area. Lucky for us, we have been busy inside the office, but it brings up the question what happens to the animals during or after a storm?
A recent news article from FOX 25 in Oklahoma City discusses one organization, Wild Care Oklahoma, that has taken in over 700 animals since the end of May. Wild Care has stepped in to provide care for many animals directly affected by the damaging tornadoes, many of which were babies. The recent storms hit during the peak of “baby” season. This left many young animals orphaned in the aftermath of the tornadoes. A litter of skunks, two racoons, and species of birds, turtles, coyotes, and foxes have been taken in by Wild Care after the destructive storms hit. The organization’s Facebook page frequently posts pictures and videos of their in treatment or newly released animals each day. I highly recommend checking out this page and all the adorable animal babies! You can also check-out ways to help Wild Care or their upcoming events.
Also, Author Patti R. Zelch in her book Ready, Set…Wait!, illustrated by Connie McLennan, gives insight into what happens to animals during storms. This picture book follows nine different wild animals as they sense, prepare, and react to an approaching hurricane. Definitely a good read for a rainy day inside!
Link to the Wild Care Oklahoma Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/WildCareOklahoma
Wishing everyone a good day and stay dry wherever you are!
What do John Dalton, Al Roker, and Punxsutawney Phil the Groundhog have in common? They’re all famous weathermen! Groundhogs, which also go by the name woodchucks, are ground squirrels related to chipmunks and prairie dogs. They live in the North East of the United States and in Canada, where they feed on wild grasses and insects and live in burrows they dig for themselves. Sometimes the tunnels that make up their homes can interfere with the homes of humans by making the ground under buildings unstable. Some farmers and homeowners get mad at Groundhogs for damaging their property. However, other people believe that Groundhogs provide a useful service for humans: they predict the weather!
In the 1800’s, German immigrants in Pennsylvania started a tradition where, every February 2nd, they watched the behavior of a special Groundhog to tell them how soon Spring would begin. They would gather around the weatherman-Groundhog’s burrow and watch as he emerged. If the day was sunny, the groundhog might see his shadow, become afraid, and retreat into his burrow. According to the tradition, this is his way of telling people that Winter will last for another six weeks. If the Groundhog doesn’t see his shadow and leaves his burrow, then Spring will come early! Instead of using graphs and images for his weather forecast, the Groundhog communicates with his emotions!
This tradition was “Candlemas” to the German immigrants, but now we know it as “Groundhog Day.” Every February 2nd, people still look to famous Weather-Groundhogs such as Punxsutawney Phil, Western Maryland Murray, and Chattanooga Chuck to tell them how soon spring will come. The weathermen-Groundhogs are never completely accurate with their predictions, but then again, neither are human weathermen!
Learn more about groundhogs in Prairie Storms by Darcy Pattison and click on the picture below to print this great coloring page by Kathleen Rietz.