pen rainbow

Monday, February 2, 2015

Monday—Groundhog Day

Groundhogs 101

A Groundhog By Any Other Name is a...


Baby groundhogs are called kits or cubs
Photo by W. Perry Conway
National Geographic
Woodchuck from the Algonquian or Narragansett name "wuchak"
Photo from Google Images
  • woodchuck
  • marmot
  • whistle-pig
  • land beaver
Not same, but related...


Squirrels
Photo from Wikipedia
Ground squirrels
Photo by Jim Creager


Prairie Dogs
Photo by Humane Society Wildlife Land Trust 
Chipmunks
Photo by Catstar_Google Images

Interesting Groundhog Factoids

  1. They are the largest member of the squirrel family.
  2. They do not bury nuts.
  3. They do not chuck wood.
  4. They are mostly herbivorous & prefer tender greens & wild berries.
  5. Unlike prairie dogs, they are loners.
  6. Groundhogs are true hibernators & go into a dormant state for about 3 months every season.
  7. A groundhog's burrow can be anywhere from 8 to 66 feet long.
  8. In the wild, groundhogs live for 3 to 6 years, 9 to 14 in captivity.
  9. Groundhogs are good swimmers.
  10. Punxsutawney Phil was named after King Phillip; before that, he was called Br'er Groundhog.
  11. Groundhog Day originated in ancient European weather lore & is similar to the medieval Catholic holiday, Candlemas, as well as the Pagan festival of Imbolc, the seasonal turning point of the Celtic calendar, which is celebrated on February 1st.

Punxsutawney Phil's 2015 Prediction
He saw his shadow!  6 more weeks of winter

Photo by Gene J. Puskar/AP Photo