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28

SUNDAY

No offense to Punxsutawney Phil, but I’ve decided to hold my own version of Groundhog Day this year. On Feb. 2, when I’m startled awake at an ungodly predawn hour by some disheartening scretch-scretch-scretching coming from the kitchen, I’m gonna pull on a Skecher and kick a hole in the wall. Now here are the rules: If the horrific, poundcake-sized rat scurrying around in there sees me in my flannels and bolts back into his gnawed tunnel, we’re looking at six more weeks of crummy weather. But if the filthy, sinewy vermin bursts from the wall and beelines with fangs a-glarin’ for my unprotected ankles, the rest of you are in for an early spring. For me, hot or cold, the battle simply goes on. Learn about the rat’s deceptively cute cousin at “Groundhogs and Other Weather Predictors,” which starts at 2 p.m. at the Hidden Oaks Nature Center, 7701 Royce St., Annandale. $2. For reservations call (703) 941-1065. (Sean Daly)