National Geographic : 1938 Jul
THE NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC MAGAZINE Photograph by Willard K. Culver WHEN NO SHADOW SCARES THE GROUND HOG, SPRING IS NEAR If the animal, emerging from its hole on February 2, sees a shadow, then back it scrambles, legend says, for another six weeks of sleep which connotes six more weeks of winter weather. The avowed public-spirited purpose of the Slumbering Ground Hog Lodge in Quarryville, Pennsylvania, is to see that nothing else ever frightens the little creature into prolonging the cold. Here it is blessed by the Exalted Inspirational Hibernating Patriarch, as kneeling Eye Rubbers wait upon the Prophets to rub their orbs with silken goods, to enable them the better to peer into the future. several days, until new shells hardened a little, or until crab men shipped them away to be eaten as "soft shells," pliant husks and all. A little passenger boat carried us across Tangier Sound from Crisfield to Smith Island (page 3). We stayed the night there, in a fisherman's house, and dined on soft crabs and little preserved figs that grow in this mild climate. Returning to the mainland, I continued alone, down the narrowing peninsula. From Cape Charles I crossed the mouth of Chesa peake Bay on a streamlined, air-cooled auto ferry, then drove through Norfolk to ward the Dismal Swamp. Portsmouth men drove me past sturdy old wooden locks of the Dismal Swamp Canal, then through marshy land where bamboolike reeds grew ten feet high. A roadside storekeeper takes visitors in a motorboat through a feeder ditch to Lake Drummond, in the heart of the swamp.* Brown water foamed like dark cider in our wake as we passed an old burned saw mill. Among the black gums and the maples beside the ditch, mockingbirds, quail, and rabbits hide from marauding bobcats. Here come bears for pokeberries; we saw bushes they had broken. Along the banks grow honeysuckle, holly, wild roses, and bright evergreen leaves of bay that were fragrant when we crushed them in our hands. * See "Dismal Swamp in Legend and History," by John Francis Ariza, in THE NATIONAL GEO GRAPHIC MAGAZINE, July, 1932.