Lander Lil Predicts Six More Weeks Of Winter In Wyoming
Move over, Punxsutawney Phil. Wyoming's favorite groundhog had a different prediction this year. While Phil called for an early spring in Pennsylvania, Lander Lil saw her shadow last weekend, which means the Cowboy State is in for six more weeks of winter weather.
The legend of Lander Lil began in 1984 when local businesswoman Mary Ann Atwood organized a Groundhog's Day event at a local prairie dog colony. After a post office was built on the sight, Lander Lil was immortalized with a three-foot-tall bronze statue by artist Bev Paddleford.
The prognosticating prairie dog has become a regional celebrity over the years. In 2001, the statue was stolen and a search party was formed to find her. Luckily, she turned up at the town dump and Lander Lil was returned to her home.
Every year on February 2nd, locals gather at the statue around 7 a.m. If the sky is cloudy and there is no shadow, spring will come early. If the sun casts a shadow on Lander Lil like it did this year, Wyoming will be freezing our tails off for six more weeks.