General Lee predicts an early spring
by The Associated Press
February 03, 2011 12:00 AM | 1438 views | 0 0 comments | 5 5 recommendations | email to a friend | print
General Beauregard Lee emerges from his pen at the Yellow River Game Ranch in Lilburn on Wednesday. The groundhog did not see his shadow, predicting an early spring.
General Beauregard Lee emerges from his pen at the Yellow River Game Ranch in Lilburn on Wednesday. The groundhog did not see his shadow, predicting an early spring.
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LILBURN - Georgia's famed groundhog, Gen. Beauregard Lee, is predicting an early spring.

The groundhog did not see his shadow on a soggy Wednesday morning at his home at the Yellow River Game Ranch in Lilburn.

Hundreds of spectators erupted in cheers at the South's furry forecaster, who made the prediction at 7:41 a.m. The news was spread on Twitter.

"We actually had the biggest cheer that we've ever had for not seeing his shadow," says Stefanie Reeves, who was answering the phone at the game ranch outside Atlanta Wednesday morning.

"In Atlanta of all places, we had five solid snow days, which is crazy, and it just made people stir crazy," she said. "So everybody is happy to see spring around the corner."

If a groundhog sees his shadow early on Feb. 2, six more weeks of winter can be expected, according to legend.

His Pennsylvania counterpart, Punxsutawney Phil, also failed to see his shadow - welcome news for winter-weary Americans.

Gen. Lee's caretakers claim their rodent has a 94 percent accuracy rating. That compares to 85 percent for Punxsutawney Phil, according to a light-hearted statement Wednesday from the Yellow River Game Ranch.

Every year, the Georgia groundhog "awakens to the ringing of the antique bell outside his 'Weathering Heights' mansion, where he lives in touch with the elements year 'round - unlike his pampered counterpart in Pennsylvania who lives in a climate-controlled environment in the town library where he is fed dog food and ice cream," said the statement announcing Lee's early spring forecast.
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