Early spring or 6 more weeks of winter? Boonshoft’s hedgehog makes her prediction

Boonshoft Museum of Discovery’s hedgehog made a frosty prediction for her first Groundhog Day forecast.

Walnut saw her shadow Thursday morning, prompting her to predict the Dayton area would get another six weeks of winter.

“My shadow I do find, which has saddened my mind,” read the scroll Walnut asked Boonshoft staff to read. “Hopefully I don’t get a splinter as I prepare the firewood for six more weeks of winter.”

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Though groundhogs tend to handle most weather and seasonal forecasts, Boonshoft reassured visitors Thursday morning that Walnut, an 8-month-old four-toed hedgehog, was more than qualified to make her own prediction.

Walnut went to prognosticator school in Montpellier at Millermeade School, said Donna Harrison, curator of live animals at Boonshoft.

“One weekend on a field trip with the debate team in Pennsylvania, she met a young groundhog named Phil. Phil was also a prognosticator and came from a long line of prognosticators,” Harrison told visitors. “Phil and Walnut immediately clicked and shared laughter, pears and long conversations about prognosticating. Walnut returned from that trip with all of the knowledge needed to make her first weather prediction.”

Anyone questioning Walnut’s wintery forecast should be reassured to learn groundhogs Punxsutawney Phil and Ohio’s Buckeye Chuck also predicted six more weeks of winter.

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