Harbinger of spring

GALENA — The handmade sign propped up against a riding lawnmower simply stated, “Small Engine Repairs.”

No explanation was needed as five push mowers — of various makes, models and colors — were lined in a neat row in a yard off Daves Hill Road near Galena.

Spring is just around the corner, perhaps earlier than the first official day of March 19.

The National Weather Service forecast here for Tuesday, Feb. 27 and Wednesday, Feb. 28 is temperatures in the low to mid-60s with possible rain showers, before a return to much cooler weather — highs in the mid-40s — on Thursday.

The most famous groundhog in the world, Punxsutawney Phil, predicted an early spring is in store for us when on Feb. 2 he left his burrow and did not see his shadow.

The animal prognosticator has been at it since the 1880s. Records kept by the Punxsutawney Groundhog Club show Phil has predicted 108 continued winters and only 21 early springs as of 2024. According to the Stormfax Almanac, that works out to a 39% accuracy rate for Phil.

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