folklore, Groundhog Day is a traditional holiday that occurs on February 2nd each year. On this day, a groundhog is said to emerge from its burrow and if it sees its shadow, it will retreat back into its burrow, indicating that winter will last another six weeks. If the groundhog does not see its shadow, it is said to indicate that spring is coming soon.
This year, Connecticut’s own Beardsley Bart, the resident prognosticating prairie dog of Beardsley Zoo, made his own prediction. On February 2nd, Beardsley Bart came out of his burrow and did not see his shadow, indicating an early spring for Connecticut.
Beardsley Bart is a Black-Tailed Prairie Dog, who can be seen burrowing tunnels in his habitat at the zoo. During colder months, prairie dogs like Beardsley Bart remain above ground while retreating into their tunnels to escape the heat during warmer months.
Beardsley Zoo Director Gregg Dancho said in a press release that Beardsley Bart is a very early riser and when he came out this morning, he confirmed that he did not see his shadow. “But every year, Beardsley Bart says that spring is coming eventually, and he has always been 100 percent correct,” Dancho said.
Beardsley Bart’s prediction of an early spring comes as Connecticut meteorologists report that the temperatures throughout the beginning of the year have been “unusually warm”. This prediction is in stark contrast to the upcoming cold wave, which is expected to bring 40-below wind chill to the state.
Though Beardsley Bart’s prediction may not be as reliable as Punxsutawney Phil’s, it is certainly a sign of hope for Connecticut residents who are eagerly awaiting the end of winter. As the temperatures begin to rise, we can all look forward to the arrival of spring and the many activities that come with it.
Beardsley Bart’s prediction of an early spring is a reminder that, even though the winter months can be cold and dreary, spring is always right around the corner. So take heart, Connecticut residents, and look forward to the arrival of warmer weather and the end of winter.