Texas Living

Out With Phil, In With Bob: Feb. 2 Is Armadillo Day in Texas

By Patrick Reardon 2.7.24

In the great history of Texan sayings, there may be none greater than this: “We don’t need no mangy groundhog in Pennsylvania predicting the weather for us.” These famous words were spoken a few years ago by Terry Boothe, who, since 2010, has been challenging Punxsutawney Phil’s meteorological authority with a decidedly more “Texan” critter: an armadillo named Bee Cave Bob. Ever since, Feb. 2 has (unofficially) been rechristened “Armadillo Day” in Texas.

Traditionally, Americans have put their faith in Punxsutawney Phil, a groundhog and self-proclaimed “prognosticator of prognosticators,” who emerges from his winter slumber at Gobbler’s Knob to look for his shadow and predict whether we’re in for an early spring. His forecast is only correct about 40% of the time, but the light-hearted tradition has been the most iconic weather-related holiday in the country since the 19th century.

That is until Boothe kicked off the first “Armadillo Day” over a decade ago. His little four-legged weatherman, Bob, more or less follows the same rituals as his Northeastern rival. Each year, Bob travels from his home in Katy to conduct the prediction in Bee Cave, a small town outside of Austin with fewer than 10,000 residents. In front of a crowd of onlookers, human meteorologists, and television cameras, Bob emerges to look for his shadow. If he sees it, there will be six more weeks of winter. If he can’t find it, that means spring is coming early.

Since starting his career, Bee Cave Bob has predicted an early spring about 75% of the time, while Punxsutawney Phil has forecasted an early spring less than 40% of the time in that same window. No wonder Boothe describes the little armored oracle as “defiant and independent-minded.” It is worth noting Bee Cave Bob predicts Texas’ weather, and Punxsutawney Phil — located in the often much colder state of Pennsylvania — attempts to predict the weather for the entire nation.

Photo by Natalie Goff

Celebrating Armadillo Day, the Texas Way

While waiting to hear Bee Cave Bob’s divination this year, get your family in the spirit of Armadillo Day with these fun Texan recipes.

  • Armadillo Eggs: Armadillos may not really lay eggs, but these classic Texas appetizers are the perfect pregame snack for Bob’s prediction. Baked jalapeños stuffed with cheese and sausage and wrapped in an armadillo-esque shell of bacon — we think Bob would approve. Get the recipe here.
  • No-Bake Armadillo Cookies: Get sweet by adapting these groundhog cookies into a pro-Armadillo Day dessert. Instead of a little chocolate fondant groundhog, top these peanut butter and oatmeal cookies with a Bob-shaped character. Get the recipe here.

When Bob’s prediction comes (and whether it comes true or not), head to our weather center for the latest seasonal tips.

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