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Ground zero: Earthplace a hot spot on Groundhog Day

Published 5:25 pm, Saturday, February 2, 2013

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  • Fudge, the stuffed groundhog, was nonetheless the center of attention Saturday at the Earthplace celebration of Groundhog Day. WESTPORT NEWS, CT 2/2/13 Photo: Mike Lauterborn / Westport News contributed
    Fudge, the stuffed groundhog, was nonetheless the center of attention Saturday at the Earthplace celebration of Groundhog Day. WESTPORT NEWS, CT 2/2/13 Photo: Mike Lauterborn

 

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There wasn't a "shadow" of a doubt. Saturday was Groundhog Day, and they went hog wild with the celebration at Earthplace, the Nature Discovery Center.

Activities included crafts, stories and a history lesson, as well as a chance to check out "Fudge," the resident Earthplace groundhog -- stuffed though he may be.

Earlier in the day, the celebrity groundhog Punxsutawney Phil did not see his shadow in Pennsylvania, a ritual that his fans say means that spring-like temperatures will arrive early this year -- a sharp change from Saturday's sub-freezing temperatures.

Becky Newman, an Earthplace educator, said it's odd for a groundhog to pop out of its burrow at this time of year. "They are really hibernators," she said.

Regarding the lore of Groundhog Day, Newman said it's well "grounded" in history. "Groundhog Day has been observed since the mid-1800s, starting in Europe with a badger," she said of the annual celebrations surrounding the creature's supposed seasonal sooth-saying.