Since it’s February 2, why not do a blog about Groundhog Day? I’m sure you already know the basic facts about groundhogs – Punxsutawney Phil, they like to dig and they are destructive AF, they predict the weather (supposedly), they make complex burrows which include separate bathroom areas, they are also called woodchucks, and whistle pigs. And you probably also know that they’re the largest member of the squirrel family, right? Not quite as impressive as being the largest member of the…whale family, or the biggest brontosaurus, but hey, if you’ve gotta be the biggest of your kind? Might as well be the biggest squirrel!
Groundhog at Greenfield Village in 2009. He/she was not at all camera shy. What a furry meatloaf!
I happen to think they’re cute. I wouldn’t think they were cute if they were digging up something that I owned or gobbling my garden goodies, so I totally understand if not everyone thinks these things are cute or just wants to beat them to death with a shovel while their children watch. Fun fact, groundhog babies mature really super fast, and are usually booted out within 6-7 weeks! Is that wishful thinking for any of you parents out there? Yup, young groundhogs wander off to dig their own burrows pretty much…right away, making sure to avoid crossing paths with overly aggressive, dominant male woodchucks (oooh…scary). Though I don’t want to beat groundhogs to death with a shovel while their children watch, I do like how silly they look! And I LOVE nothing more than a holiday that’s just a little bit…silly. Let’s spend a day celebrating a rodent, shall we? Oooh, let’s DO! Count me in! If I’m feeling better Friday morning, I will drive to the Howell Nature Center to see Woody the woodchuck in person!
I’d be lying if I said this was the only Groundhog Day shirt I’d ever owned and yes, I will be wearing this shirt on Feb. 2! Come on…I only have one day a year I can wear this silly thing! The first Groundhog Day shirt I had was one I’d gotten for “almost” free with proofs of purchase from buying Woodchuck Cider, which I’m now curious about whether is still in business, will have to check on that. The other shirt said “On Groundhog Day, Woody Rises.” Gotta love the racy booze slogans!
Without burying the lede, let’s talk about how groundhogs make other groundhogs! Turns out male groundhogs are enterprising horndogs. Almost pimps, really! They got this whole mating thing planned out! They set the alarms on their iPhones (they are suckers for trendy gadgets), and make sure to set those alarms just a LITTLE earlier than the lady groundhogs. And when boy groundhogs wake up? Guess what they’re sporting? Well, not really. What they do is wander into lady groundhogs’ burrows, where they are out colder than Carrie Bradshaw after too many cosmopolitans. Or any woman after drinking a whole box of wine. When hibernating, groundhogs’ heartbeats slow down to as slow as just a few beats per minute, and their body temps can go down to as low as 5 degrees Celsius.
Male groundhogs are QUITE the pimp daddies! They have a harem of lady groundhogs and guard – and defend that territory quite closely. Once they drag their sorry, furry butts with those cute, cute tails out of bed, they start thinking about…sex – and making sure there are enough women around for them to satisfy their apparently insatiable appetites. If their appetites for sex are anything like their appetites for food, that would be impressive! They can eat up half their own body weight in vegetation in just one day. So I can only imagine what their sexual appetites must be like…
Per National Geographic:
“Typically, there’s a male that has a territory that includes several female burrows. And there’s some competition for that territory. They try to defend that territory, and they go from burrow to burrow to find out if that female is still there.”
To view more from that article, click here
So it’s essentially a scouting mission for the male groundhogs. He wakes up, asks himself, “Where all my women at?” And so he starts looking around to find out where all the women are at. Then he goes back to sleep until it’s time to really get busy. When it’s time to get busy? He won’t settle for just one lady groundhog, but as many as possible! There’ll be none of that holier-than-though “mate for life” nonsense for groundhogs!
Mood music for groundhogs? “I’ve Got You Babe.” Of COURSE! 🙂