Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Willie

Continuing from Monday's walk in Bluewater Park... 
after you've done your outdoor fitness circuit, on your way back to the parking lot, you might want to stop and pay your respects to Wiarton Willie.
For those of you who are from away and may not be familiar (though I'm sure everyone has seen the movie Groundhog Day) we have a strange and quaint tradition here of raising up a sleepy-headed groundhog from his burrow to predict the arrival of spring weather. This happens every February 2nd, the halfway mark of winter. Supposedly, if he doesn't see his shadow spring is imminent. If it's a sunny day, he sees his shadow and scurries back into his burrow to sleep for another six weeks. Or until the vernal equinox... Spring.


you can actually go see Willie any time because he lives in this specially designed enclosure
though, he is a burrowing creature, so maybe you can't see more than just his house.....



Wiarton has built up a huge tourist industry around Willie. There is also a giant statue of a standing groundhog in the park as well as a memorial marker for the past Willies who are no more (the original one lived to the ripe old age of 23 and died in 1999)

20 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. well, he may be only right in the Wiarton/Owen Sound area?!

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  2. Replies
    1. and there aren't many albino groundhogs about!

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  3. How fun. Even if he's wrong, he's still wonderful.

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    1. I didn't get the chance to greet him as he was busy hiding on both days (different years) I was there!

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  4. It's testament to my rodential phobia that I was creeped out by the picture of Willie on the sign there--something about that white face and the low pose makes me screamy.

    Nothing, if not faint of heart, here.

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    1. he looks less rodential in the drawing, don't you think? and that drawing of Willie is everywhere in Wiarton!
      but, I understand. I have the same feeling for spiders... and their webs.

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  5. Every town needs a Willie or a Phil to add some excite,met to winter. Tom The Backroads Traveller

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    1. Willie has certainly doing that. a whole week of excitement! plus the anticipation of the excitement.
      of course, I've never actually been there during the weeklong festivities. but apparently 1,000s are.

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  6. Gotta love Willie. Great photos.

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  7. Replies
    1. thanks. I'm glad the town has embraced him as they have.

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  8. He is the most famous groundhog in Ontario.

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  9. Replies
    1. thank you. it would have been even more pleasant had the rodent come out to see us after our trek north!

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  10. Never heard of an albino groundhog.

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    1. He's special. Funnily enough, in all the years I've known about him, it never occurred to me that being white was an oddity, until the first Willie died and had to be replaced with another albino!

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