Punxsutawney Phil may get national television attention every February 2, but here in Sussex County, we have our own spring-predicting, go-to groundhog.
Stonewall Jackson V dwells at Space Farms in Wantage, and is cared for by none other than New Jersey Assemblyman Parker Space, owner of the farm.
Last week, as has become tradition for Stonewall Jackson the V and his predecessors, all of whom have also been named Stonewall, he was called upon for his opinion on Groundhog Day.
“Today Stonewall did not want to come outside because there’s too much snow,” Space said. “We finally coaxed him into coming outside, and he didn’t see his shadow, which means we have an early spring!”
There seems to be a difference of opinion among our expert groundhogs. Out in Gobblers Knob, in the hamlet of Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow, predicting six more weeks of winter. Which, considering the massive pile-up of snow this season, is more in line with the current mood.
In West Orange, N.J., Essex Ed concurred with Stonewall. A resident of Turtle Back Zoo, Ed didn’t see his shadow either. Essex Ed is also famous for predicting the Super Bowl results. Ed predicted the Tampa Bay Buccaneers‘ victory over the Kansas City Chiefs during Super Bowl LV this past Sunday.
Out in New York, Staten Island Chuck contradicted Phil as well, predicting an early spring.
Stonewall Jackson V comes from a long line of weather pundits. Space Farms’ groundhogs have been predicting Ground Hog Day for more than 20 years. There was one exception, in 2016, when Space went to check on Stonewall Jackson IV on the eve of Groundhog Day to find that he had passed away. Stonewall V stepped in the next year, and has been prognosticating ever since.
Author, journalist and naturalist, Hal Borland said, “”No winter lasts forever; no spring skips its turn.”
Go Stonewall, Ed, and Chuck on their predictions for an early spring.