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It's Groundhog Day!

February 2, 2012 - Jodi Burnsworth
(Previous Post: see link at right)

It’s Groundhog Day at the West Virginia State Wildlife Center, with the state’s official weather prognosticator, French Creek Freddie!

Freddie has undertaken his annual ritual at the Wildlife Center since 1978. Each year, visitors gather with anticipation to witness Freddie’s first glimpse of the new year and his annual prediction. The Wildlife Center staff wake the grumpy rodent and bring him out of hibernation to allow him to look for his shadow and predict the severity of the remaining six weeks of winter.

Superintendent Gene Thorn gave the crowd the history of Groundhog Day and led the singing of the French Creek Freddie song to lure him out of hibernation. So, did Freddie see his shadow? After a little coaxing from his handler, Freddie came out but did not see his shadow, which means early spring weather.

After the ceremony, I took a walking tour of the rest of the wildlife on display, taking advantage of the unseasonably warm temperature and sunshine. For those of you who missed this tradition, I’ve shared some photos with you, at right.

(Next Post: see link at right)

 
 

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Blog Photos

French Creek Freddie emerges from hibernation.

 
 
 
 

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