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How do you get a groundhog to predict the weather? Give him hashbrowns.

This is the first year Gen. Lee will make his meteorological prognostication from Dauset Trails.
This is the first year Gen. Lee will make his meteorological prognostication from Dauset Trails.
Credit Courtesy of Dauset Trails Nature Center
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Just after 7:30 Friday morning, Gen. Beauregard Lee is scheduled to predict the next six weeks of our weather.

Gen. Lee is Georgia’s official groundhog. He lives at the Dauset Trails Nature Center in Butts County, about an hour south of Atlanta. Ike English is the director there, and said they have a trick for getting the general up and ready to prognosticate.

“We have him a nice big plate of hash browns,” English said. “That’s something that historically has worked with getting Beau out of bed.”

English said there would also be a bit of fanfare.

“With a little help of a trumpet playing reveille, that’s sort of appropriate, too, for rise and shine for an old groundhog,” he said.

This is the first year Gen. Lee will make his meteorological prognostication from Dauset Trails. He was moved there just last month, after his home of many years, a nature center in Gwinnett County, closed.

Gen. Beauregard Lee’s new home. (Courtesy Dauset Trails Nature Center)

“We had to build his mansion, do landscaping and get his enclosure pretty groundhog-proof,” English said. “They are pretty crafty as far as escaping.” English said he ramped up his groundhog keeping knowledge quickly when he learned Gen. Lee needed a new home.

“Hopefully, Beau will make his appearance around 7:33 [a.m.], which is sunrise. And we’ll see whether we’re gonna be stuck with some more winter or we have spring just around the corner.”