Groundhog Day

Yellow-bellied Marmot

Yellow-bellied Marmot

In honor of Groundhog Day here is a picture of the “Lookout Marmot”.

We do not have groundhogs here in Northeastern California. However, a cousin of the groundhog, the yellow-bellied marmot (Marmota flaviventris) is common. I always joke that instead of Punxsutawny Phil predicting the arrival of spring, the Lookout Marmot predicts our spring.

More information on the yellow-bellied marmot can be found in a previous post. (see “Yellow-bellied Marmot” 05-13-12)

This marmot was sunning itself last year in the Ash Creek Wildlife Area (Pilot Butte Section) near Lookout CA.

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4 Responses to Groundhog Day

  1. Lin says:

    How fitting!

  2. tracy ferguson says:

    Well, it’s official: We will have an early spring! I can confidently state from Pittsburgh, PA. that Punxsutawny Phil did not see his shadow this morning. According to German legend and the skills of our famous groundhog, spring is not far away! Cheers could be heard from Gobbler’s Knob just 65 miles northeast of Pittsburgh.
    My husband and I have had our own experiences with groundhogs, cousins to the marmot, at our home and the hillside behind our house that slopes down to a wooded ravine. We are gardeners and the groundhogs love our flowers! They love to grab the stems of my beloved day lilies, bend them over and chomp off the flowers! I think I personally keep the producers of Liquid Fence in business! It seems to be the only product that safely deters these critters. But, I must begin spraying early in the spring and consistently throughout the summer to stay ahead of the groundhogs. I have also seen them climb trees. Over the years, we have witnessed fights between our dogs and groundhogs. The groundhogs seem to have a defensive tactic of rolling themselves up into tight balls when they fear they are losing the battle, and launching themselves down the hillside beyond the reach of our dog’s Invisible Fence. They remain rolled up once they have stopped against a bush or tall grasses, and stay like that for quite some time before wandering off; something like playing opossum.

    • gingkochris says:

      You are very observant, Tracy! I did not know that groundhogs roll into a ball as a defensive tactic. We too are predicted to have an early spring as our “Lookout Marmot” did not see his shadow. Actually, it was lightly snowing at sunrise yesterday.

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