Shubenacadie Sam

February 2, 2012 by staff 

Shubenacadie Sam, Nova Scotia’s Shubenacadie Sam emerged from his shelter on Groundhog Day, the day after a snow storm, to predict an early spring in 2012. No shadows frightened the weather-predicting groundhog when he made his appearance early Thursday morning in front of a crowd of about 200 people.  Nova Scotia’s time zone makes Sam the first groundhog in North America to make the annual prediction.
Sam, who has been making predictions for about 20 years, has been described as “ageless” by Bert Vissers, manager of the Shubenacadie Wildlife Park, where the rodent resides. The celebration at the park included face painting for children, hot chocolate, bagpipe music and tours of the facility.
According to legend, if the groundhog sees his shadow and runs back into his burrow, there will be six more weeks of winter. If he remains outside spring is near.
Ontario’s Wiarton Willie also foretold an early spring, but some other groundhogs including Pennsylvania’sPunxsutawney Phil and one called Fred in Quebec forecast a longer winter. Georgia’s General Beauregard Lee predicted an early spring in his part of the continent.
Groundhog Day has its roots in very old European beliefs about the weather on Candlemas day being a sign of what was to come. It was said that hedgehogs, badgers and bears went out to check the weather in early February.

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