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Groundhog Day 2013: Yahdee and Lee Predict More Winter

The 'groundhogs' see their shadow on a frigid Saturday morning at Wehr's Dam in South Whitehall.

Will spring come early? 

Not according to "groundhogs" Yahdee and Lee, who took a trip by raft down the Jordan Creek in South Whitehall on Saturday morning as some 70 onlookers braved the frigid morning.

The "groundhogs" saw their shadow -- which, according to folklore, means six more weeks of winter.

In keeping with Pennsylvania Dutch tradition, Grundsau Lodge No. 16 in Orefield hosted the Groundhog Day event at 7 a.m. along the Jordan Creek. 

"There’ll be some cold and there’ll be some warm days," said David Adam, the president of Grundsau Lodge No. 16, after Lee (a puppet) whispered to its handlers.

"You can get your garden ready the beginning of March," he said. "By St. Patrick’s Day, you can plant your peas."

The better-known groundhog "Punxsutawney Phil," according to a Twitter feed on Saturday morning, did not see his shadow, however. "Spring is sprung. RIP winter," it read, in contradiction to Yahdee and Lee.

In South Whitehall, spectators and media were on hand as members of the Grundsau Lodge, many in top hats, sang the "Battle Hymn of the Republic" and "She'll be Coming Around the Mountain" in Pennsylvania Dutch. They said prayers and recited the Pledge of Allegiance in Pennsylvania Dutch as well.

There was coffee, doughnuts and groundhog cookies.

And as Yahdee (who has seen a taxidermist) and his grandson Lee approached by raft, the spectators rushed to the creek's edge.

It was the sixth time in seven years that Grundsau Lodge No. 16, formed to preserve the language and traditions of the Pennsylvania Dutch, hosted the Groundhog Day event. The lodge, established 42 years ago, has about 180 members.

Mary Anne Looby February 02, 2013 at 08:40 PM
Go with Phil! He has the better prediction!

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