Bee Cave, Texas
BEE CAVE, Texas - Some Central Texans are tired of all the attention payed to Punxsutawney Phil on Groundhog Day.
They're trying to draw attention to a new day they call Armadillo Day and a new way of forecasting the weather.
"The official small mammal of the State of Texas, the armadillo, is our predictor and prognosticator," said Terry Boothe, a member of group calling itself the Benevolent Knights of the Raccoon. "Our armadillo will tell us what to expect."
"We're taking something that is rightfully ours, the right to predict our own weather, as opposed to a thousand or two miles away in Pennsylvania, so it's a worthy thing to do," Boothe said. "We felt like this was a mission that was worthy of the Benevolent Knights of the Raccoon."
The group staged its first Armadillo Day Tuesday at a place called the West Pole, at Highway 71 and Bee Caves Road in the Village of Bee Cave.
At 12:30 p.m., volunteers gently prodded an armadillo they called Bee Cave Bob out of a hole in an attempt to create a Texas version of Punxsutawney Phil.
"If he stays out of the hole, then we know spring is around the corner," Boothe said. "If he returns to his hole, we know we're going to have more winter, considerably more winter."
Bee Cave Bob meandered around a bit, but didn't do much else.
After some consultation, the master of ceremonies, who called himself "Al Manac," consulted with his trusted advisers, who called themselves "Hugh Midity" and "Wayne Gauge," and decided Bee Cave Bob's prediction was simple.
"As far as the forecast in Texas goes, it's going to be a little bit of the same, but we can't speak for El Paso and Amarillo," the master of ceremonies said. "We hope everyone's crops grow and your cattle get fat."