Can you tell me if groundhogs hibernate?

Groundhogs, also known as woodchucks, do hibernate during the winter in underground “apartments” complete with separate chambers.

Far below the frost line, these underground havens provide a good place for groundhogs to curl up for a worry-free winter.

And, regardless of what you may have heard about Punxsutawney Phil, no groundhog is likely to leave its comfortable underground home, unless it’s pulled or bribed.

How can you make your own brown sugar?

For light brown sugar stir 1/4 cup of molasses into 1 cup of granulated sugar. For dark brown sugar, mix 1/2 cup of molasses to 1 cup of sugar.

What is a Mexican jumping bean?

A Mexican jumping bean is not a bean but rather a seed from a Mexican shrub with larva inside of it. The “jumping” movement is caused by a caterpillar that lives inside this seed.

When is the Chinese New Year and what animal is it this year?

Chinese New Year begins on Feb. 9, 2005. This year will be the year of the rooster.

How near is the nearest star?

Our sun is really a star and is closer to us than any other. Beyond the sun, the nearest star is 4.3 light years away (Proxima Centauri). Since one light year equals 5.8 trillion miles, multiply 5,800,000,000,000 by 4.3 and you’ll get the distance in miles to Proxima Centauri. The sun is only 8 light minutes (92,956,000 miles) from Earth.

Do dogs and cats have belly buttons?

Yes, dogs and cats do have belly buttons (as do all mammals), they’re just harder to find, and don’t look like human navels.

As with humans, the belly button is the connecting point for the umbilical cord, which carries nutrients and oxygen from the mother to a developing baby.

Once a baby is born, whether it’s human or not (but always mammal), the cord is no longer needed as the baby is able to receive its own oxygen and food through its nose and mouth. With humans, the cord is cut and the short stump that is left dries up and falls off.

With animals, the mother chews off the umbilical cord, and the stump will also dry up and fall off.

When a mammal is hatched from an egg, the way a platypus is, it also has a belly button or scar, but it is very hard to see.

The scar is from where the developing animal was attached to the yolk sac inside the egg.

Do you have any suggestions on how to remove the smell of smoke from a room?

To remove the smell of smoke from a room, fill a glass jar with vinegar and place a large oil lamp wick inside the jar so that the wick is half immersed in the vinegar and half sticking out of the jar.

The wick will help draw the odor from the air in the room down into the vinegar to neutralize it. The liquid will absorb lingering smoke odors.

If you have a question for the Farmers’ Almanac write to Farmers’ Almanac, P.O. Box 1609, Lewiston, ME 04241 or e-mail: [email protected]

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