We have just about a week until our furry friend from Gobbler’s Knob tells us if we can expect an early spring or endure another six weeks of winter. While Punxsutawney Phil is the groundhog we look to for such an important determination, he’s not the only one with prognosticating powers. With Groundhog Day coming up, we thought we’d introduce you to some of our favorite prognosticators.
The Deep North There’s a lot of pressure on a prognosticator — they have to wake up at the crack of dawn to let the world know if the next six weeks are going to be happy or chilly. Shubenacadie Sam has the toughest job as he makes the first prediction in North America. He lives in Nova Scotia which is farther east than other prognosticators on the continent. But being first comes with perks. He gets to go to bed earlier in his hollowed-log and he has very own bag piper and town crier to announce his awakening.
The Land of Lincoln While most Americans knew about Punxsutawney Phil before Bill Murray’s movie Groundhog Day came out, they probably don’t know about Woodstock Willie or his home, Woodstock, Illinois — which is where the movie was filmed, making it, for all intents and purposes, Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania for a few days. With the popularity of the movie over the last two decades, Woodstock has drawn a lot of visitors on February 2. The day is so big for the tiny town, a festival was created for it and the organizers recruited their own prognosticator — Woodstock Willie.
The Big Apple From tiny towns to big cities, a groundhog can find a home just about anywhere. In New York City, the chief prognosticator made his home at the Staten Island Zoo. Charles G. Hogg is known as Staten Island Chuck. However, he has taken a break from prognosticating for the last several years after an incident with the mayor of New York City. In 2009, he bit Mayor Michael Bloomberg and was taken off duty. His daughter, Charlotte, took over his duties in 2015. There’s no word yet on which groundhog New Yorkers will be counting on for 2016.
The Peach State Down South, they treat their groundhogs a little bit differently than they do in the Northeast and Midwest. In Georgia, you won’t find their prognosticator — General Beauregard Lee — hibernating in a hole in a grassy knoll, rather, when he wakes up to check for his shadow, he has to crawl out of his mini mansion and look out from the verandah to make a judgement on the next six weeks. Beau (as he’s known at the Yellow River Game Ranch where his mansion is located) has been on the job for more than three decades, and he’s been rewarded for the hard work each February 2. He’s earned two honorary doctoral degrees and has been formally recognized by the National Weather Service for his accurate predictions. Last year, he gave the South an early spring. We’ll see what he has to say about 2016 on February 2.
Whether we get six more weeks of winter or we get an early spring, The Lakeside Collection has hundreds of items to make it the best six weeks of the year. From cozy blankets for the couch to breezy spring dresses, shop Lakeside for unique products at practical prices.