Mascot says six weeks of winter, the original says early spring on Groundhog Day
Furry Oil Springs Ollie says it will be an early spring.
But Village of Oil Springs Ollie says six more weeks of winter.
Both the original furry groundhog and the new groundhog mascot came out of their ‘holes’ this Groundhog Day to survey the weather in Central Lambton and both came to a different conclusion.
The Village of Oil Springs and Heaven’s Wildlife Rescue began the tradition of predicting spring with a groundhog in 2014 when the live groundhog from the centre, named Sheldon, predicted another six weeks of winter. Sheldon was renamed Oil Springs Ollie for the occasion.
Over the years, Ollie has traveled to Wyoming and Sarnia to see his shadow in front of a crowd. But this year The Village of Oil Springs introduced a new Ollie mascot to predict the weather at the Oil Springs Youth Centre. It was a virtual event because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Although Oil Spring Ollie predicted six more weeks of winter, we know there will be sunnier days ahead,” says Oil Springs Mayor Ian Veen after Ollie pops his head out of the Youth Centre front door, falls in shock to the ground and then goes back inside.
Meanwhile, out in the country at Heaven’s Wildlife Rescue, Peggy Jenkins, her daughter, Heaven and another volunteer brought real-life Ollie out of his ‘hole’ to take a look around. He’s predicting six weeks until spring.
Jenkins – who called Village of Oil Springs Ollie ‘adorable and hilarious’ – was surprised to hear about Ollie’s mascot counter part and his prediction of more winter.
Jenkins, understandably, says the original Ollie is likely right. Ollie has been making predictions for eight years and at least six times his weather senses proved to be right. Jenkins has lost track of a couple of the predictions.
This year’s event was much quieter than normal. Jenkins usually takes Ollie to a local school during the week or, if Groundhog Day falls on a weekend, to another community for a big ceremony. But that didn’t happen this year because of the pandemic restrictions.
But maybe that’s not a bad thing. Jenkins says Sheldon is getting older – he’s eight now – and his friend, Harvey, is likely to take over Ollie’s job for the predictions next year.
“Sheldon is getting up in age so his friend, Harvey, is in training. They were both out today. They talk together, but I don’t know what is being said.”