DAILY FEATURE: By Steve Kovacs (Introduction by Chuck Gibson)

LOVELAND, OH (February 2, 2021) – In Issue 2021-21 of Steve Kovacs Fun with Maps, the long and the short of the winter HOGS!

The most famous Groundhog of em all – Punxsutawney Phil (Stock Photo)

Hedgehog or Groundhog

Weather  forecasting.  While it is true that many animals can foretell weather changes as well as seismographic changes, it is unclear if properly predicting the duration of winter is among these.

Nonetheless, hedgehogs have been used for forecasting the duration of winter dating back to Roman times.  This tradition is carried out to this day in numerous parts of the world, most notably in Great Britain.

As hedgehogs are not native to North America, early settlers decided to find a substitute species.  The groundhog was picked for this role.  It remains unclear if hedgehogs or groundhogs have been more accurate in predicting winter’s duration over the years.

Newsflash – six more weeks of winter was predicted today by both the “official” American groundhog and English hedgehog.

Here is Sanson’s map of the British Isles from 1743.

Map of the British Isles from 1743 (Credit Steve Kovacs)

Steve Kovacs and his wife Theresa reside in Loveland, Ohio where they raised their two children. He is a passionate collector of antique maps.

Visit his antique map boutique world-on-paper online. Watch for his daily feature Steve Kovacs: Antique Maps & Fun Facts here on Loveland Beacon.