No Shame in That Shadow

Greta fuels up to take charge of 2019.

In February 2018, Chimney Rock Park’s resident groundhog Greta predicted that six more weeks of winter lay ahead and that the New England Patriots would win the Super Bowl during overtime, reveals the park’s promotions manager, Landdis Hollifield.

But just because it was one of the warmest Februaries in memory, with a record number of 70-degree days, and just because the Eagles beat the Patriots 41-33, that doesn’t mean Greta isn’t willing to try her hand again (or her nose and whiskers, as the case may be). Attempting to reinstate her former reputation for accuracy, she’ll appear on February 2 to confront her shadow and prognosticate both the weather and the game.

A few facts: Western North Carolina is the southernmost range for the large marmot, known colloquially as a whistlepig or a woodchuck. These busy herbivores are one of the few Appalachian mammals that truly hibernate in the wild. When they hew close to civilization, their legendary underground burrows are deep and wide enough to destroy entire building foundations.

Education manager Emily Walker, who helps handle Greta, revealed the 14-pound woodchuck’s true nature to Lauren Stepp in a Bold Life article published last year. “Greta’s moody, and she likes to be in charge. She definitely rules the roost.” And that includes beating her own odds.

Chimney Rock State Park will host its 14th annual Groundhog Day Celebration on Saturday, February 2, at 10am in the Meadows area. Event is included in standard park admission. For more information, visit chimneyrockpark.com, or call 800-277-9611.

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