Yes it is, really.
I'll explain shortly.
Firstly, I'd like to thank Shirl at Shirls Gardenwatch for allowing me to use the above photo to promote the Hedgehog survey. Full details of the survey can be found here. I'm hoping to take part, although I haven't seen a hedgehog for over a year, but maybe I wasn't looking hard enough.
Today is Groundhog Day in the United States and Canada. Folklore states that if today is cloudy when the groundhog emerges, then spring will come early. But if it is sunny and the groundhog sees its shadow, it will return to its burrow, and there will be six more weeks of winter. Good luck with that one then.
Apparently, this piece of folklore was brought over to the U.S. by German settlers. However, in Germany there are no Groundhogs, and it is believed that originally the prediction related to badgers or hedgehogs. Hedgehogs ? Yes, hedgehogs, you can see where I'm going here can't you ?
Well actually, I'm going back to Ancient Rome where the Romans used a very similar prediction. The main difference being the hedgehog seeing its shadow in moonlight not sunlight. That's not bad going for a prediction that has survived for over two thousand years and gone global. So you see it really is Hedgehog Day today.
But what about here in the UK ? Today is also Candlemas Day, and we've got a saying about that:
'If Candlemas be fair and bright,
Winter will have another flight,
But if Candlemas Day be clouds and rain,
Winter is gone and will not come again.'
It's a glorious sunny day today.
Oh no !