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Koala
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ZG if you find the information would you send it on to me please?

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Do you happen to know where I can find an authoritative source for the history of the hedgehogs predicting the weather in Europe? All I have is anecdotal information and there are several folks who claim that this was not a European tradition.


Back to the garden - see you all in a while. Rain forecast for the next week got to make hay while the sun shines. Though it is really windy frown

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I will try and find information in English Diana and ZG. There must be some floating about because the Romans apparently also introduced the whole idea to Britain after they had conquered most of that, though I don't think it is followed in any way these days............or perhaps it is and I have just never heard about it.

There is quite a bit of info. in German, including ancient Folklore etc.

Wrote an article way back in January which includes a relevant German farmers proverb from centuries ago, long before emigration to the USA took off.

Will see what I can find in English.



Hedgehogs, Candlemas and Groundhog Day


Francine A. McKenna - German Culture Editor

German Culture Site - German Culture Facebook

Avatar: HOHENZOLLERNBRÃœCKE Cologne with CATHEDRAL and LUDWIG MUSEUM. The Bridge a symbol of how Germany was rebuilt after WWII, it was left in ruins, the Cathedral with roots in the 13th century represents the country's history, Museum of Modern Art the present day.

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Diana, I did not know David Jones during my years in the Army (1958-1991), and in Vietnam (1968-1970) it's just as well that I did not know him because my main job there was investigating war crimes. Best wishes, Z. G. Standing Bear at The Flash and Thelma Memorial Hedgehog Rescue

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Koala
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I guess I am glad you didn't know my brother smile It was in the same time frame though.

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Although I went over with the 101st Airborne Division, I was transferred to the 8th Military Police Group (Criminal Investigation) when the My Lai massacre was uncovered, as I was a Military Police officer. It was a tad dicey to have enemies on both sides. Best wishes, Z. G. Standing Bear

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Hi Diana and Z.G., it seems there are written sources from the era that claim the hedgehog was tamed by the Romans in the 4th century BC, and as you know it has a highly sensitive snout which apparently led to the Romans noticing that it was vulnerable to wind, smells and changes in temperature. As well as using the hedgehog for meat and for its quills, it was in their time that it also became a primitive weather gauge. This was documented.

The hedgehog had been a native of Europe for millions of years, obviously a favourite because carved wooden figures of hedgehogs have been found buried alongside young children in graves going back well over 2,000 years, although there is common agreement that it was the Romans who spread the weather divining tradition.

However there are many German �farmers rules� going back hundreds of years that quote �hedgehogs� in their weather predications, including the one used in the article.

The tradition that grew up around February seems to be a combination of many ancient Christian, Pagan and Roman traditions that took root in Germany.

There were several sites in English, nothing �authoritative� that I found in my limited time, but Groundhog Day & Punxsutawney Phil: Facts Behind Forecast from an edition of National Geographic was interesting.



Francine A. McKenna - German Culture Editor

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Avatar: HOHENZOLLERNBRÃœCKE Cologne with CATHEDRAL and LUDWIG MUSEUM. The Bridge a symbol of how Germany was rebuilt after WWII, it was left in ruins, the Cathedral with roots in the 13th century represents the country's history, Museum of Modern Art the present day.

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Thanks! I had not seen the National geographic piece before, mainly because it's been several years since I have searched through National Geographic for anything. As I recall, the oldest hedgehog fossils were located in eastern Europe in what is called today the Czech Republic. Hedgehogs are reputedly the oldest surviving live-bearing mammals on earth, going back some 60 million years to the time of the dinosaurs. At one point, the European (erinaceus) species inhabited North America (between 10 and 24 million years ago), as hedgehog fossils have been found in what is now Nebraska, Montana and Wyoming. The study was conducted by two geologists and published by the Museum of Natural History of the University of Kansas in 1973. Best wishes, Z. G. Standing Bear

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Francine and ZG the history is fascinating. I was surprised to have seen hedgehog fossils in the states. Then again, there are a lot of animals that were once here that are now gone forever.

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I'm not sure how these geologists from Kansas got to recover hedgehog fossils from Nebraska, Montana and Wyoming, but the article was very concise and involved studying fossils of jaw bones and teeth, complete with numerous photos and drawings. Just down the road from us in Woodland Park, Colorado, the main attraction is the Dinosaur Resource Center, which opened five or six years ago and is a branch of Trebold Paleontology, Inc., which, for over 20 years, has recovered fossils and made castings for many museums and other institutions all over the world. They have an excellent web site (www.rmdrc.com) and each summer they host a "Critterfest" where our hedgehog rescue is provided with an information booth and where I conduct a hedgehog class. Best wishes, Z. G. Standing Bear

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Not changing the subject ...

Hello all,

Just poppying past (hah!) to tell you that I have written an article on growing a poppy container; planted up my own mini-meadow with grass and bought poppy seedlings and even found another poem to add to the end of the article written by Moina Michael (who was inspired to do so by John MacRae). Please visit the container gardening site then go to the forum there. Ta.

Still hammocking, two more days to go-

Cheers


Lestie Mulholland - Container Gardening Editor

Container Gardening Site

Container Gardening Forum

"Things GARDENING are great ... they are my daily smiles on toast!" - Jennifer St John-Rose, formerly black thumb recently turned green.
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