Georgia groundhogs predict early spring

lfabian@macon.comFebruary 2, 2010 

Georgia's weather forecasting groundhog is predicting an early spring.

At 7:35 a.m. a Twitter posting from the Yellow River Game Ranch in Lilburn said Gen. Beauregard Lee did not see his shadow in the rainy 40 degree morning.

The prediction was delayed when Gen. Lee got away from his handlers and hid, then climbed a fence behind his mock-mansion home.

Official predictions call for more rain in Georgia later in the week but Gen. Lee did not address that issue.

Legend has it that if a groundhog sees his shadow on Feb. 2, six more weeks of winter can be expected. Otherwise, spring is at hand. Rainy, cloudy weather kept shadows away.

Meanwhile, in Athens, a newer member of the fraternity echoed the general's prediction. A groundhog named Gus also did not see his shadow as he crawled from his burrow at the Bear Hollow wildlife center.

A crowd of about a dozen, including Mayor Heidi Davison, looked on as park director Berkeley Boone lifted the lid on the wooden box where Gus sleeps.

Gus, in his second year on the job, took a slow lap around his cage and crawled back into his straw-filled box.

"He's definitely not acting scared today," said Berkeley Boone, director of the park. "It's safe to say he did not see his shadow."

Their predictions contradict the call made by Pennsylvania's Punxsutawney Phil, who did see his shadow although the National Weather Service reported overcast skies in the area at the time.

Phil's forecast calls for six more weeks of winter.

Information from the Associated Press was used in this article.

The Telegraph is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service