Clairvoyant Critters!

In weather lore, if a groundhog emerges from its burrow on February 2 and fails to see its shadow because the weather is cloudy, winter will soon end. If the groundhog sees its shadow, it will return into its burrow, and the winter will continue for 6 more weeks.

Here in Nova Scotia, Shubenacadie Sam was the animal of the hour, emerging from his burrow at the provincial wildlife park in Shubenacadie at 8 a.m. to the accompaniment of a bagpiper and a town crier.  Sam is the first clairvoyant critter to make his predictions in North America.

(Photo © Andrew Vaughan/CP)

Unfortunately, our Shubenacadie Sam saw his shadow this February 2nd, as did Ontario’s Wiarton Willie.  And given the winter we’ve had thus far, that’s not hard to imagine.  However, there are seven weeks of winter left on the calendar, so perhaps it is to be expected anyway.  More snow on the way for us tomorrow!

As the light grows longer,
The cold grows stronger.
If Candlemas be fair and bright,
Winter will have another flight.
If Candlemas be cloud and snow,
Winter will be gone and not come again.
A farmer should on Candlemas day,
Have half his corn and half his hay.
On Candlemas day if thorns hang a drop,
You can be sure of a good pea crop.

– Old poem of Scottish origin, author unknown


Author: nancybond

A writer, photographer, naturalist from small town Nova Scotia, Canada.

13 thoughts on “Clairvoyant Critters!”

  1. Hi Nancy, Phil saw his shadow here and we’ll have six more weeks of winter, too…although right now it is sunny and our snow has melted. However, we are supposed to get a big storm tomorrow…so I guess the prediction is true here, too!

    I like the verse at the end of your post.

  2. Well it’s snowing here today, so if we had groundhogs here they’d be snuggled up in their burrows! Does that mean spring would be here instantly I wonder?

  3. It really IS an absurd premise, isn’t it? But amusing non-the-less, except for the year the groundhog died and they had a big funeral (that was Wiarton Willie, wasn’t it?) It’s lovely here today but now that hubby’s cold has found me I won’t be venturing outside to watch the pre-storm calm.

  4. Nancy,

    We will have spring’s beginning all through late February but will have chances of freezing weather until April 15 or so. Does that mean the sage is correct or not? Who knows! I did hear a weather rumor…maybe snow here tonight! The little kid in me wants just one snowfall this winter.


  5. Nancy,
    I suppose I’ll keep the snowshoes handy a little while longer. I just hope we have a nice spring and summer this year. Last year we had a very wet summer. Happy Groundhog’s Day!! : )

  6. Nancy:
    It’s been mild here for the past two days, so even though we have another six weeks, there are small signs all around us that spring will soon be upon us. The birds singing today brought a smile to my face today.

  7. I love the poem. I’m actually not so sad about six more weeks of winter, so long as we have a few days like today and yesterday: sunny and a little warmer!

  8. I always want an early spring (surprise, surprise!!) but I know it will be quite a while before it truly is that season no matter what Phil or Sam saw today. I think it’s a fun tradition no matter how accurate it is…

  9. Are you sure The Goracle wasn’t in attendance? They say The Gore Effect (cold weather) follows him where’er he goes, you know. Mother Nature mocking the silly Nobel Prize winner and all that…


    Or maybe the groundhog prognosticators have been reading Pravda


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