Punxsutawney Phil may be calling for an early spring, but Georgia's own groundhog had a difference of opinion Saturday morning.
General Beauregard Lee saw his shadow as he emerged from his home at the Dauset Trails Nature Center, signaling that Georgia should be prepared for six more weeks of winter.
Gen. Beauregard Lee was a celebrity groundhog for decades in Gwinnett County before he moved to Jackson last year. The current "Beau" is the "bachelor nephew" of the original Gen. Lee, according to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
First celebration: The first Groundhog Day was celebrated at Gobbler’s Knob on Feb. 2, 1887. According to History.com, the idea came from Clymer Freas, a newspaper editor in Punxsutawney, who belonged to a group of groundhog hunters. His newspaper, The Punxsutawney Spirit, is credited with printing the news of the first observance in 1886, according to the website of the Punxsutawney Groundhog Club.
Origins: The day was originally known as Candlemas Day, which was the midpoint between the winter solstice and the spring equinox. It was celebrated in Europe, with Germans adopting a hedgehog to determine whether the rest of the winter would be bitter or mild. German settlers who came to Pennsylvania in the 18th century continued the tradition, substituting a groundhog.
Other predictors: What other rodents predict the weather on Feb. 2? Birmingham Bill, who prognosticates from the Birmingham Zoo in Alabama; and Staten Island Chuck in the New York metropolitan area. Not to be outdone, Canada has its own rodent, Shubenacadie Sam, who emerges from his burrow in Nova Scotia.
Information from The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and Cox Media Group content team contributed to this report.
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