It is official, six more weeks of winter. So proclaims Punxsutawney Phil's handlers. Phil seemed a bit annoyed about all of the noise and bright lights this morning. Who can blame him, wrenched from his cozy warm bed and thrust in front of TV cameras. Wouldn't you be a bit cranky too?
We don't care so much about Phil's prediction here. We usually have at least eight more weeks of winter anyway. It's a bit of a wake up call that we are in the last weeks of winter and it's best to start planning for the coming spring. Especially important in days of yore when we relied on our spring crops to keep us from starving to death. Now of course we have drive-ins so we don't worry about food anymore.
Anyway, I was searching about on Pinterest for some cute groundhogs and kept finding images of that annoying movie (you know which one). I had to do my own pinning of some cute little rodents know as groundhogs, woodchucks or whistle pigs. I will explain that later for those who have not heard this name for groundhogs before. So here are some cute pictures of some groundhogs.
If a wood chuck could chuck wood,
how much wood would a woodchuck chuck,
if a woodchuck could chuck wood?
A wood chuck would chuck as much wood as a
wood chuck could chuck if a wood chuck
could chuck wood.
We had a groundhog living in our yard several years ago. He lived under a fallen willow tree on the lake bank. During the spring, I came face to face with him a couple of times. He stared at me, I stared at him. He ran really quickly back to his den. I had never seen a groundhog up close before. At first I thought it was a beaver, until he turned and I saw he had a little tail not the big paddle tale of a beaver.
After I did a little reading about groundhogs, I realized that the weird sound we had been hearing at night through our open window, was in fact a groundhog whistling. They also make other horrible banshee type sounds that would be suitable for any horror or sy-fi thriller movie. We asked our neighbors if they knew what sound we were hearing at night, they said it was raccoons. Well I have lived in areas where there were plenty of raccoons and I had never heard these ungodly sounds before. The sounds continued periodically through the spring and then just stopped.
In early summer we noticed a momma raccoon and a bunch of her babies were hanging around. Their was a hole in the top of the large fallen willow trunk and the babies would pop in and out of this hole to get to their "new" den. Apparently, momma raccoon had determined that the groundhogs' den was a perfect spot for her family. We assumed that the sounds we had heard were fighting between the groundhog and the raccoon. We never heard the weird sounds again, except for the raccoons fighting with each other. Poor groundhog was ejected from his home and moved on to someone else's yard.
Happy Groundhog Day!