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    18 degrees, partly cloudy and Lander Lil makes her proclamation

    Lander’s prognosticating prairie dog, Lander Lil, popped up promptly at 7:29 am to look for that tell-tale shadow. A shadow that would indicate 6 more weeks of winter. Always one for flair, Lil was donning a smartly appointed bandana this year. County 10 was back to retrieve the annual outlook from Lil:

    County 10: Good morning Lil. And?

    Lander Lil: Yep! There it is. Clear as day, and ironically caused by day. My shadow! There’s some light cloud cover, but enough sun peeking through to create my ground clone. So, sorry folks: 6 more weeks! When I’m casting, it means the fly fishers will have to wait a bit longer for their casting.

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    County 10: Just why do Landerites turn to you each year? What gives you the credibility to make this forecast?

    Lander Lil: I’ve been doing this since 1984. Mary Ann Atwood made me famous, and while now in bronze, I was once a live female prairie dog. Artist Bev Paddleford of Lander made me into a beautiful bronze. Where I stand today used to be a prairie dog colony. Just me now. Not sure if you knew, but a prairie dog was delivered by Lewis & Clark to President Jefferson. We’re an icon of the West.

    County 10: I don’t recall: Were you accurate last year?

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    Lander Lil: Yep, didn’t see the shadow, and everyone got to enjoy an early Spring. Like the US Postal Service office I stand in front of: I deliver! Did you know that Phil has only been correct 39% of the time? Yeah, true. I call him Punxsutawney Pretender.

    County 10: What’s with the bandana this year?

    Lander Lil: Oh this? Likely some passersby thought I could use some sprucing up. I kinda like it. Feels right, and should keep my neck warm on the ski trails at the golf course today. Perfect day for it, you know. But, now, it’s over to McDonalds for an egg muffin and coffee.

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