Friday, February 2, 2024

Groundhogs aka Woodchucks and Groundhog Day, February 2 Reviewed

Punxsutawney Phil
Attribution: Anthony Quintano on
WikiMedia Commons CC By-SA 4.0 Deed
One of the most popular and recognized animals on earth is the famous groundhog, Punxsutawney Phil.  He is the little creature we all turn to on Groundhog Day each year to get our weather forecast.  

No one can deny this little fellow is adorable, especially when he declares spring is coming soon!  Of course, we still love him when he sees his shadow and predicts 6 more weeks of winter, but he just seems so much sweeter when he doesn't see his shadow and promises an early spring.

In spite of the fact that groundhogs have a lifespan of 6 years, Punxsutawney Phil has been making his weather predictions since 1886.  Yes, it is true (folklore)!  As the story goes, Phil drinks "groundhog punch" aka his "elixir of life" at the picnic each year, therefore he has lived a lot longer than the average groundhog life expectancy. 

The celebrated groundhog makes his appearance on Groundhog Day, February 2 each year, to give his prediction.  He only speaks to the current president of the Groundhog Club.  Then the president translates his "groundhogese" into English for the rest of us.  Personally, I blame the club president for disturbing this old fellow and not Phil when he declares, "you will have 6 more weeks of winter!"

Early Spring Has Been Predicted by Punxsutawney Phil for 2024!
Punxsutawney Phil Groundhog Day 2022 Pennsylvania (51858204001)
Anthony Quintano from Mount Laurel, United States, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons


Facts About Groundhogs

baby groundhog
Baby Groundhog
Attribution: LadyCamera, CC BY-SA 4.0,
via Wikimedia Commons

Groundhogs are members of the rodent family and are considered the largest squirrels in North America.  They have short legs and long, curved claws which allow them to burrow.  They prefer woodland areas, hedges, or open areas with plenty of ground coverage.  They can be found in the eastern parts of North America and southern Canada.

Groundhogs live alone.  Even a mother groundhog will send her babies on the way after a few months and reclaim her burrow for single occupancy. 

Groundhogs, also known as Woodchucks, eat twigs, bark, plant stems and leaves (not the seeds or blooms) and can live up to 6 years.  

An adult woodchuck will grow to approximately 2 feet and will weight somewhere between 5 - 11 lbs.

Groundhogs are one of the few animals that are true hibernators. They sleep all winter long, relying completely on their reserves of fat to stay alive. Their metabolism slows down to a fraction of normal levels to ensure their survival.   Most hibernators wake up to find food or urinate, but groundhogs don't even do that.

When threatened, groundhogs will make a shrill sound which is why they also have the nickname of whistlepigs.


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Groundhogs aka Woodchucks and Groundhog Day, February 2 Review Written by:
House of Sylvestermouse

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  1. A fun review on groundhogs.

  2. How appropriate for today - the story of the groundhog. I don't know about what Phil saw today in Punxsutawney , PA, but the sun is shining here in Kansas, so I don't anticipate an easy and quick transition into Spring hereabouts. LOL. But I did enjoy your groundhog/woodchuck tale. Sylvestermouse.

    1. The ultimate groundhog did not see his shadow this morning, so he predicts an early spring for 2024!

    2. Oh, I'm SO glad. After last month's freezing Polar Vortex, I am DONE with winter for this season... LOL.

  3. Oh, how I hope Mr. Phil’s prediction of an early spring comes to pass! I, too, have had it with winter, lol. Thank you for your fun look at groundhogs/woodchucks, Ms. Mouse!

  4. Every year I watch the Groundhound movie, every year! AND I forgot this year - but I have it recorded, so thanks for the reminder, I'll put it on right now while I'm at my desk - I'm looking forward to spring - but when I look at all the yard work to be done, um, not so much

  5. Oh the things that I learn reading these Reviews! Who knew that they are so solitary, I thought they were more like squirrels in that regard. So again I learn something new.. Thanks for this fun review Sylvestermouse Cynthia!

  6. Loved reading the information about Groundhog day and the groundhogs. It was interesting to learn more about this animal and fun to know more about Groundhog day ! Looking forward to Spring :)


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