Friday, October 5, 2007

Groundhog at Como

While I was on my way back from lunch today, I got a pleasant little surprise. I spotted a groundhog on the side of Lexington Parkway as I went through Como Park. I have seen them before from time to time since Como is pretty close to work. Since I had my camera with me at work, I was hoping o go shooting when I was done but the weather was not very cooperative, I ran back and picked it up and headed back to where I spotted him. The first time I saw one of these at Como I though it was a yellow-bellied marmot, like the ones that I have seen at Yellowstone but I checked it out and found that this was a cousin the groundhog also sometimes called a woodchuck. Yellow-bellied marmots typically live in rocky terrain above 2000 feet above sea level. The groundhog is a lowland dweller who usually lives in fields or the edges of forest. All marmots, including the groundhog, are actually a part of the ground squirrel family.
As it is October, and winter will soon be here this guy will probably be hibernating soon. Ground hogs often create a separate winter burrow in which to hibernate. The most famous ground hog is Punxsutawney Phil who each year comes out on Groundhogs Day to predict when winter will end. I wonder if things work in reverse? If this guy saw his shadow does that mean we get 2 more months of summer? One can only dream.

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