On February 2nd every year we (like many places around the country) ask a rodent to make a prediction. If the groundhog sees his shadow Bill Murray is required to make a bad movie. That’s right – isn’t it?

Actually Groundhog Day is celebrated Pennsylvania German folklore that believes if a groundhog leaves his burrow on February 2nd and sees their shadow and retreats to their burrow that we have six more weeks of winter. If the same groundhog does not see his shadow spring is on the way. Since the groundhog is a timid character thought to be afraid of his own shadow the basic premise is determining whether or not the sun is shining on that particular day more than anything else. We still use the groundhog to make the determination because it is fun to give them cute names like Punxsutawney Phil and Sir Walter Wally.

The North Carolina Museum of Natural Science hosted a great Groundhog Day celebration that starred Mayor Pro Tem Eugene Weeks who translated Sir Walter Raleigh’s thoughts on the day to the crowd. Unfortunately the announcement was met with a negative reaction as we were told Sir Walter Raleigh did not agree with his more famous cousin in Pennsylvania – winter is here to stay for another month and a half.

Thanks Wally – while most people would see this as a less than perfect answer I am glad we get a few more weekends to try to get a ski trip in.