On a chilly morning in February, a Vancouver Island marmot is awoken from her slumber to make one very important prediction—whether or not we’ll see Spring sooner than later.
Lovingly dubbed ‘Van Isle Violet’, our resident weather-predicting marmot resides in a marmot-breeding facility on Mount Washington.
Around November to April is typically when Vancouver Island marmots hibernate, hence Violet being awoken especially for her special duty.
According to the Marmot Recovery Foundation, our local marmots prefer to hibernate in groups, typically consisting of related individuals.
This morning, in the brief moments while Violet was awake, she did indeed see her shadow—meaning, according to folklore, there will be six more weeks of Winter.
Check out the video below:
The Foundation says the work is quick and quiet, as to disturb the hibernation as little as possible.
While she is a Vancouver Island Marmot (Marmota vancouverensis), Violet is also a certified Groundhog. “Groundhog” and “Marmot” are common names for members of the genus Marmota. Other “Groundhogs” include members of the Marmota monax species (e.g. Wiarton Willie, Punxsutawney Phil).
The Marmot Recovery Foundation says that Van Isle Violet’s predictions have been at least 100% accurate—she assumed Groundhog Day duties in 2022, when she predicted six more weeks of winter.
Islanders were still skiing on Father’s Day, 19 weeks later, arguably making Violet 300% correct.
According to the Foundation, Violet seemed more than happy to tuck back into bed for more hibernation.
On the other side of the continent, Punxsutawney Phil, another famous furry Groundhog made the same prediction—we won’t be seeing Spring weather for at least another six weeks!