Stay warm, Massachusetts — we’re in for six more weeks of winter, according to the state’s official groundhog, Ms. G, who saw her shadow when she emerged from hibernation Saturday morning.
Dozens of people made it out to Mass Audubon’s Drumlin Farm Wildlife Sanctuary in Lincoln for the annual Groundhog Day announcement Saturday morning despite the single-digit weather, according to a statement on the official Massachusetts groundhog website.
“This year, Ms. G was a little coy in taking her time to get out of her mobile cage, but some corn and other vegetables helped entice her to come out,” Mass Audubon spokesman Michael O’Connor said in a phone interview Saturday.
When she finally poked her head out, the sun was shining and the forecast was clear: Expect a late start to spring this year.
While Ms. G was still the featured guest of the day, wildlife sanctuary officials decided to brand the event a little differently this year, calling it Climate Action Day. The goal is to encourage visitors to learn more about the “overarching environmental challenge of the 21st century,” according to a Mass Audubon statement.
The farm welcomed state Senator Michael Barrett, Mass Audubon president Gary Clayton, and Drumlin Farm Sanctuary director Renata Pomponi to attend the event and discuss the urgency of taking action to fight climate change, O’Connor said.
“Meeting these climate challenges is about perseverance, and since its founding more than a century ago, Mass Audubon has been a moral beacon and a testament to action on behalf of the environment,” Barrett said in a statement.
Ms. G has been forecasting the weather every Groundhog Day for 12 years, and eight of those have been the hottest years recorded in history, according to the statement.
The woodchuck’s announcement comes after the region struggled through a bitterly cold week that fell into single digits. While weather forecasters predict a brief warmup this week — with expected highs of about 53 degrees Monday and 59 degrees Tuesday — temperatures may drop back to the lower 40s by Friday.
But there might be hope yet — Pennsylvania’s famous Punxsutawney Phil, who also made his annual appearance Saturday, saw something a bit different. When he popped out of his cage, he did not see his shadow, meaning spring is coming soon.