Tuesday, February 2, 2016


     Chuck has an important announcement to make today. He’s charged with forecasting the weather and telling us when spring will arrive. Chuck a.k.a. Groundhog, Thickwood Badger, Canada Marmot, Whistler and the Red Monk amongst other more casual names (some people think of Chuck as a large ground squirrel) must wonder why people do not have the courtesy to call him Charles. After all it’s an important job that not everyone is able to do. They pull him out of his burrow where he’s been comfortably hibernating to look for his shadow. Any self-respecting groundhog would rather be in his nice warm bed. Who can blame him for nipping New York’s mayor last year? There are a few horses in Central Park that would enjoy that opportunity.

     Chuck has been successful about 40% of the time according to meteorologists but Chuck—excuse me, Charles—believes they are just jealous because on February 2 of each year, it’s the Red Monk that gets all the attention.
     Groundhogs are found all over—the United States, Canada, as far north as Alaska and southeast to Georgia. They weigh anywhere from 4 to 9 pounds and are16 to 26 inches long. Charles is the proud father of chucklings. Charles thinks calling them chucklings is as cutesy as Chuck. 

How much wood would a woodchuck chuck
if a woodchuck could chuck wood?
A woodchuck would chuck all the wood he could
If a woodchuck could chuck wood!
    Wrong! The name Woodchuck is not actually related to wood or chucking. Charles received his name from the Algonquians—wuchak.
     Chuck loses a lot of weight when hibernating in his burrow. When he comes out he’s ready for a good meal—a succulent plant, wild berries, insects and your garden vegetables would make a tasty meal.

photos courtesy of Ladycamera and Susan Sam


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