Happy Groundhog Day, peeps!
Where has January gone??
Since I haven't been providing Friday Fun facts
The groundhog (Marmota monax), also known as the woodchuck, land beaver or whistlepig (comment from me: Whistlepig?! *snicker*), is a rodent of the family Sciuridae, belonging to the group of large ground squirrels known as marmots. Other marmots, such as the yellow-bellied and hoary marmots, live in rocky and mountainous areas, but the woodchuck is a lowland creature. It is widely distributed in North America and common in the northeastern and central United States. Groundhogs are found as far north as Alaska, with their habitat extending southeast to Alabama (comment from me: Yup, we haz 'em).
Groundhogs are one of the few species that enter into true hibernation, and often build a separate "winter burrow" for this purpose. This burrow is usually in a wooded or brushy area and is dug below the frost line and remains at a stable temperature well above freezing during the winter months. In most areas, groundhogs hibernate from October to March or April, but in more temperate areas, they may hibernate as little as 3 months. To survive the winter, they are at their maximum weight shortly before entering hibernation. They emerge from hibernation with some remaining body fat to live on until the warmer spring weather produces abundant plant materials for food.
Outside their burrow, individuals are alert when not actively feeding. It is common to see one or more nearly-motionless individuals standing erect on their hind feet watching for danger. When alarmed, they use a high-pitched whistle to warn the rest of the colony. (note from me: They always seem to be watching the traffic as it zooms by.)
Repeat after me, peeps:
Well, peeps, what's it gonna be? Six weeks til Spring or six more weeks of Winter?