After watching Shubenacadie Sam online, from the Cayman Islands, for years, Tiffany Knowles and her children were excited about seeing him in person.
Sam didn’t see his shadow when he made his annual appearance Friday morning, meaning spring will be early, and eight-year-old Ethan Knowles is confident that the rodent is right.
“I hope he’s right,” said Ethan’s mother, Tiffany, who now lives in Bedford. “After seeing him online every year I thought it would be fun to see him in person, and it’s a beautiful day to be in the park. We’re going to take in more while we’re here.”
Two-year-old Evan appeared most excited about the mascots (people in wildlife-themed costumes) who were greeting visitors outside of the Greenwing Wetlands Centre.
Sam came out of his ‘house’ at 8 a.m. and, although he had to deal with bagpipes, a crowd of fans and a lot of cameras, he was in no hurry to get out of sight. He leisurely strolled around his snowy enclosure and crawled over obstacles like sections of tree trunk.
Sam has been predicting the weather for 30 years.
Groundhog Day predictions come from an old Candlemas Day (Feb. 2) belief reflected in the following rhyme:
“If Candlemas Day be fair and bright
Winter will have another fight.
If Candlemas Day brings cloud and rain,
Winter will not come again.”
In parts of Europe people began watching badgers, to see if they saw their shadow. When this tradition was brought to North America, where badgers are not native, groundhogs were the chosen animal.