Groundhog Day: Don't count on seeing Buddy anytime soon

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, December 1, 2009

By Jessie Burchette
It’s Groundhog Day. So what? Buddy, the groundhog in legal residence at Dan Nicholas Park, is several feet underground snoozing.
Why get up and drag yourself out on a cold day to face a collection of humans wanting a weather prediction? Or worse, pose for a picture after four months in bed.
It’s cold.
Rain, sleet, snow.
It’s winter.
Buddy would rather spend his time in his warm confines dreaming of carrots, peanut butter and succulent greens.
Bob Pendergrass, supervisor of the the Nature Center, said Buddy isn’t a prompt groundhog.
There’s no alarm calendar in his burrow.
“He’s a night owl as groundhogs go,” Pendergrass, said. “Buddy goes down late and sleeps late.”
He may make an appearance by April Fool’s Day.
Buddy replaced Carla, who died in the barn fire two years ago.
Carla was Pendergrass’ favorite critter, always chattering and running to him, no doubt expecting treats.
Once she wandered off and was gone for more than a year.
When a nearby farmer called to say he had a groundhog that had moved into his barn, Pendergrass went to check it out.
Instead of hiding, the ground hog came running to Pendergrass, chattering up a storm.
It was Carla.
And Carla liked humans and was ready to pose for the camera anytime.