Nova Scotia’s celebrity groundhog, Shubenacadie Sam, is predicting a long, cold winter ahead.
The large rodent emerged briefly from her enclosure at a wildlife park north of Halifax this morning — Groundhog Day — and according to her handler, she saw her shadow.
As the door to her pint-sized barn opened, Sam poked her nose outside, sniffed a nearby carrot and promptly returned inside to avoid the brisk -12 C weather.
Folklore has it that if a groundhog sees its shadow on Feb. 2, it will retreat into its burrow, heralding six more weeks of wintry weather. No shadow is said to foretell the early arrival of spring-like temperatures.
“That means six more weeks of possible snow days, kids,” said Tabitha Cox, head interpreter with the Shubenacadie Wildlife Park.
“More time to build snowmen. More time to go skiing. Long winter ahead for us.”
For the second year in a row, the event at the park was closed to spectators and was broadcast live on Facebook to comply with the province’s COVID-19 health protection orders.
Living on the East Coast in a pint-sized barn at the Shubenacadie Wildlife Park, Shubenacadie Sam is typically the first groundhog in North America to issue a long-term forecast.
Meanwhile, Ontario’s most famous groundhog Willie was rolled out onto a stage in a Plexiglas box and, according to Wiarton Mayor Janice Jackson, proclaimed spring was nigh.