If Candlemas day be fair and bright,
Winter will have another flight.
But if Candlemas day bring clouds and rain,
Winter is gone and won't come again.
Herewith a quote from Garrison Keillor's The Writer's Almanac:
German immigrants in Pennsylvania found that there weren't a lot of badgers in America, but there were a lot of groundhogs, so the holiday evolved into Groundhog Day. The first reference to Groundhog Day is from 1841, in the diary of a storekeeper in Morgantown, Pennsylvania. He wrote: "Last Tuesday, the 2nd, was Candlemas day, the day on which, according to the Germans, the Groundhog peeps out of his winter quarters and if he sees his shadow he pops back for another six weeks' nap, but if the day be cloudy he remains out, as the weather is to be moderate."
And I knew exactly when. While I was in high school, I had a one time date with a young man, whose grandparents owned a horse farm on that road I traveled several decades later. We went horse-back riding--please know I am NOT an accomplished rider--and as we rode along in the open field, we were having a pleasant getting-to-know-you conversation. Suddenly, the young man pulled up his horse, jumped off, and went running across the field. From a nearby barn, he grabbed a baseball bat, and proceeded to bludgeon a groundhog to death.