Balzac Billy’s prediction is in

The prairie prognosticator did not see his shadow this morning

The seasonal prediction occurred this morning as Alberta’s own Balzac Billy awoke at the Blue Grass Nursery and Garden Centre.

The rodent awoke from hibernation at 8:13 a.m. at the annual Groundhog’s Breakfast, and predicted an early spring for Alberta.

Cheers followed the animal as he awoke without seeing his shadow, and continued to stretch his underused legs.

North America’s other two groundhogs, Wiarton Willie from Ontario and Punxsutawney Phil from Pennsylvania, both predict a long winter for the eastern side of the continent.

This is the second year the weather prognosticator saw his shadow, and predicted a nice long winter.

In Alberta, Billy is actually not a groundhog, but still makes the annual prediction for the province.

Balzac Billy is actually a Richardson Ground Squirrel, a common species found throughout Alberta.

Groundhog Day derives from the Pennsylvania Dutch superstition. It is believed if a groundhog emerging from its burrow on this day sees a shadow due to clear weather, it will retreat to its den and winter will persist for six more weeks, and if he does not, due to cloudiness, spring season will arrive early.

Just Posted

Fox Run School’s yearbook committee receives award

The Sylvan Lake middle school received a Distinguished Merit Award for its 2017-18 yearbook

BREAKING: Blackfalds RCMP on scene of school bus collision and car jacking

RCMP are looking for a silver 2012 Mitsubishi Outlander with Alberta license plate BNR655

PHOTOS: Family Skating and Sledding Party returns to Sylvan Lake

The free event also featured hot chocolate, bonfires and special guests at Leader Field on Jan. 20

Ladies take to the ice in annual Sylvan Lake Curling Club’s bonspiel

The Ladies’ Bonspiel was held at the NexSource Centre, Jan. 18-20

West Central Tigers host second annual alumni game

The game on Jan. 18 was followed by a fundraiser pub night for the current Midget AA Tiger team

New Canada Food Guide nixes portion sizes, promotes plant-based proteins

Guide no longer lists milk and dairy products as a distinct food group

Man accused of threatening to kill ‘as many girls as I see’

Christopher W. Cleary wrote he was angry because he’d never had a girlfriend and wanted to ‘make it right’ with a mass shooting

Cannabis-carrying border crossers could be hit with fines under coming system

Penalties are slated to be in place some time next year

Alberta government to partially backstop new $2 billion dollar bitumen upgrader

Project would create more than 2,000 jobs during construction

Alberta youth charged over theft of $17,000 in snow equipment at B.C. ski resort

Alberta RCMP recovered $17,000 in skis/snowboards believed stolen from Fernie Alpine Resort Saturday

Harlem Globetrotters land in Red Deer Jan. 27th

One-of-a-kind show set to run in the Enmax Centrium

China demands U.S. drop Huawei extradition request with Canada

Hua said China demands that the U.S. withdraw the arrest warrant against Meng Wanzhou

BREAKING: Province denying Ponoka funding, further action being touted

MSI and other funding sources now gone until town rescinds motion to withhold property tax money

Giant ice disk equipped with webcam after surviving storm

Westbrook official Tina Radel says the livestream was requested by Brown University

Most Read