Buddy, the resident groundhog at Dan Nicholas Park, popped his head out Wednesday morning and took a look at the clouds and rain ó then he went back in his hole.
Buddy, who operates on his on schedule, has never shown up on the official Groundhog Day.
He does his own thing.
Last year, he stayed out of sight for so long that park staff feared he had died. They dug him up and interrupted a really good nap. He wasn’t happy.
So this year, the staff decided to let Buddy sleep in.
Bob Pendergrass, supervisor of the Nature Center, had predicted it could be late March before Buddy emerged.
“He was earlier than we expected. It was good to see him,” Pendergrass said. “He is nice and chunky. He has plenty of fat, he can stay down for a little longer.”
Pendergrass offered a theory as to why Buddy emerged Wednesday. The groundhog may have gotten word on the critter Internet that a Post photographer was visiting the park.
Oops. Buddy’s timing was off by a day.
Buddy took up residence in the Rowan Wildlife Adventures section of the park in August 2006. He replaced Carla, a fan favorite, who died when the petting barn burned in March 2006.