Groundhog Day: Lander Lil sees her shadow; More winter on the way

It was a bright and cloudless day this morning, meaning Lander Lil cast a shadow when the bronze was hit by the first rays of dawn. (Daniel Lobera photo) 

(Lander, Wyo.) – Lander’s famous weather forecasting prairie dog, Lander Lil, cast a shadow this morning in the park near the intersection of U.S. 287 and Wyoming 789, predicting there will be six more weeks of winter. Since Lander is in a valley, the sun had not yet climbed over the hills or nearby buildings to cast its rays on the bronze Lil at the official time of sunrise, but just a short time later, the sun’s rays reached Lil on this cloudless day.

Lander Lil was waiting for sunrise this morning. (Daniel Lobera)

Lander Lil was waiting for sunrise this morning. (Daniel Lobera)

Since 1984 Lander’s weather forecasting prairie dog has been the local star of Groundhog Day. Established by Mary Ann Atwood, Lander Lil was formerly a live female prairie dog, but for many years now a bronze statue of the famous rodent has taken her place. Located just west of the Lander Post Office, the site of Lander Lil’s bronze is a former prairie dog colony.

Back in Pennsylvania, Punxsutawney Phil also saw his shadow Sunday morning confirming Lil’s forecast of six more weeks of winter.