BARRINGTON MUNICIPALITY, N.S. – For a while it looked like spring may arrive before Lucy the Lobster slowly crawled to a lobster trap to see if she would see her shadow on Groundhog Day.
But after getting some encouragement, some chants, and a helping hoist onto the trap, Lucy did not see her shadow.
While no shadow means an early spring, some did express sorrow over winter ending earlier. A sign at the event that declared ‘No Shadow’ also included a sad face.
But it was posted on social media that Lucy – like her colleague Shubenacadie Sam – had not seen her shadow and was declaring an early spring. We wouldn't say that Lucy gave Sam a run for his money, it was more of a slow, deliberate crawl.
Lucy’s debut was also a kickoff to the South Shore Lobster Crawl – a three-week winter festival celebrating lobster with events taking place from Barrington to Peggy’s Cove.
People gathered at the Cape Sable Island Causeway in the Municipality of Barrington to watch Lucy make her Groundhog Day prediction. This area promotes itself as the Lobster Capital of the World, so it only makes sense that a lobster, not a groundhog, would take centre stage.
Warden Eddie Nickerson said everyone was hopeful Lucy would predict a great spring for the lobster season. The season in LFAs 33 and 34 has been underway since the end of November and goes to the final day of May. He called for a great spring lobster season to “let the Municipality of Barrington flourish and drive our economy.”
Donna Hatt, chair of the South Shore Tourism Co-operative, was the emcee, of sorts, for the Groundhog Day event.
“Oh my gosh! Look who’s coming ashore! It’s Lucy!” she said as the crustacean crawled out of the water. “How are you honey?”
Hatt said apparently Shubenacadie Sam had been practising yoga for his Groundhog Day prediction, whereas Lucy had been resting at the “spa” at Capt. Kat’s Lobster Shack in Barrington Passage.
Lucy is a 19-inch-long lobster weighing in at 6.5 pounds. She was caught by Captain Tyler Nickerson and his crew aboard the Chas’n Rac’n.
Xsealant Seafood Company, the official supplier of lobster to Capt. Kat’s Lobster Shack restaurant in Barrington Passage, brought Lucy to Capt. Kat’s for her special assignment.
“It’s taking her a really long time to get to the trap,” Hatt said on the shoreline Friday morning. “Let’s go Lucy, cheer her on! … Go Lucy, go Lucy! … Look at her go. Spring might come before she gets to the trap.
“You go girlfriend, you can do this!” encouraged Hatt, saying Lucy was slow and steady, just like that infamous tortoise who beat the hare.
Lucy eventually did get some help onto the trap from Hatt and Suzy Atwood, the tourism and community development officer for the Municipality of Barrington, and she did not see her shadow.
On behalf of Lucy, Hatt thanked Shubenacadie Sam for all of his advice and sent a shout out to Wiarton Willie.
“We hope you had a great day too because we shadow chasers must stick together,” she said.
Lucy went back to the “spa” at Capt. Kat’s afterwards where people can visit her as she continues to bask in the limelight.
Meanwhile, people are encouraged to enjoy the South Shore Lobster Crawl.
For a full list of events visit www.lobstercrawl.ca.