Theme of the Week – Groundhogs!

Welcome to GROUNDHOG WEEK!! We thought since tomorrow is going to be Groundhog Day, we’d celebrate with a whole week of groundhog stuff (when you say Day, we say Week!).

Groundhog

Isn’t this guy a handsome fella?

Well, I realize that groundhogs kind of look like beavers, in their waddly lumpiness, so this isn’t that much of a stretch from Beaver Week. In fact, groundhogs aren’t hogs at all, but are rodents, just like beavers – and just like beavers, they have teeth that keep growing their whole lives, so they have to chew a lot of stuff to keep their teeth ground down. Thus, their waddly lumpiness.

But don’t be fooled! As waddly and lumpy as groundhogs are, they actually can climb trees!

Climbing a tree

Some people called groundhogs “whistle-pigs” because they make a funny whistling sound that almost sounds like a bird whistle. Click here to hear what a groundhog sounds like!

Groundhogs are also called “woodchucks”. As in “How much wood would a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood? As much wood as a woodchuck would if a woodchuck could chuck wood.” Now say that fast. Three times. And whistle like a whistle-pig at the same time! Impossible!!

There are a couple of theories about why the groundhog is sometimes called a woodchuck, and neither of them have to do with chucking wood – the first is that early settlers to America thought they looked a little like pigs, and “chuck” was another name for a pig. The second is that the word for groundhog in Cree (a language canadian indians spoke) was “wuchak”, and settlers thought it sounded like “woodchuck.” Either way, woodchucks don’t chuck wood at all.

They chuck dirt.

Groundhog digging
image by freeimageslive.co.uk – fmanto

Apparently, they chuck about 700 pounds of dirt per den – and a single groundhog can have 4 or 5 dens! That’s a lot of dirt! And so, in some places, groundhogs are considered pests, because their very complicated tunnels and burrows cause trouble for farmers (and people who don’t want a bunch of holes in their backyards!).

The BBC thinks that groundhogs are pests too. But mostly because they’re annoying to listen to. I mean, REALLY annoying:

Alright! So now you know a bunch of new stuff about groundhogs! Don’t forget that tomorrow is Groundhog Day! If you want to see watch the groundhog live, you’ll have to get up early: Punxsutawney Phil (the most famous groundhog) heads out of his den at 7:25 tomorrow morning! You can apparently watch the live stream HERE. We’ll get to find out whether Spring is right around the corner, or we’re in for some more winter weather. I’m hoping for SPRING. How about you?

And remember if you have any fun facts about groundhogs, post them below! Or hashtag it up on instagram with #bobbledygroundhog – yeah!

And stop in again tomorrow, where we’ll have a special post just about Groundhog Day!


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