Deck out your device with 15% off smartphone cases & laptop skins. Use code DEVICE15.

Woodhog or Groundchuck? by Mike Oxley

Greeting Cards & Postcards

Size:
$2.40
Available to buy on…


Groundhog Marmota monax
Cooper Marsh, Lancaster, Ontario, Canada
May 6, 2011

221 views as of 8/24/11

Snack time!

With thanks to animals.nationalgeographic.com

The groundhog, or woodchuck, is one of 14 species of marmots. These rodents live a feast-or-famine lifestyle and gorge themselves all summer to build up plentiful reserves of fat. After the first frost, they retreat to their underground burrows and snooze until spring, drawing their sustenance from body fat. While hibernating, the animal’s heart rate plunges, and its body temperature is not much warmer than the temperature inside its burrow.

Groundhog hibernation gave rise to the popular American custom of Groundhog Day, held on the second of February every year. Tradition dictates that if a groundhog sees its shadow that day, there will be six more weeks of winter, though such a prediction seems a sure bet over much of the groundhog’s North American range.

In the spring, females welcome a litter of perhaps a half dozen newborns, which stay with their mother for several months.

Groundhogs are the largest members of the squirrel family. Though they are usually seen on the ground, they can climb trees and are also capable swimmers. These rodents frequent the areas where woodlands meet open spaces, like fields, roads, or streams. Here they eat grasses and plants as well as fruits and tree bark. Groundhogs are the bane of many a gardener. They can decimate a plot while voraciously feeding during the summer and fall seasons.

The etymology of the name woodchuck is unrelated to wood or chucking. It stems from an Algonquian (possibly Narragansett) name for the animal, wuchak. Nevertheless, the apparent relationship between the two words has led to the common tongue-twister:

“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!”

Sony Alpha 700, Sigma 170 to 500 at 500 mm
iso 400, spot metered, F6.3, 1/400 second
Tripod

In love with Ma Nature! Always have been, always will be. Let’s keep her safe, eh?

View Full Profile

Comments

  • Photography  by Mathilde
    Photography b...over 3 years ago

    What a cutie, Mike – I have often wondered what a groundhog looked like. Fabulous capture !!

  • Thanks so very much, Mattie! It’s not too often these little guys stick around long enough for a photo shoot, but he was quite absorbed in munching on his tree!

    – Mike Oxley

  • Dorothy Thomson
    Dorothy Thomsonover 3 years ago

    Great capture and tongue-twister Mike. Could I have one of these in the same parcel as the Squirrels?

  • Many thanks, Dorothy! Okay, so it’s black squirrels, red squirrels and a groundhog. Want to round it up with a couple of chipmunks?

    – Mike Oxley

  • Larry Trupp
    Larry Truppover 3 years ago

    Love your title Mike…inst fave

  • Greatly appreciated, Larry, and many thanks for the “fave”, too! You’re very kind!

    – Mike Oxley

  • Larry Trupp
    Larry Truppover 3 years ago

  • Elaine  Manley
    Elaine Manleyover 3 years ago

    awww hes so cute . .great shots !

  • Thanks for your very kind words, Elaine! Much appreciated!

    – Mike Oxley

  • Tracy Faught
    Tracy Faughtover 3 years ago

    AS cute as he is…. he would make an awful hambuger….groundchuck, get it…..yuck, sorry! lol!! :O]
    Great capture of this feller Mikey! :O]

  • LOL! Thanks, Tracy! Much appreciated, my friend. I was wondering if anyone would catch the title!

    – Mike Oxley

  • Tracy Faught
    Tracy Faughtover 3 years ago

    Oh….and don’t get me startyed on what a pain in the …extremities, these fellers are around my place….still cute though. lol! :O] I have a story of one that I’ll tell you in private one day…

  • They can be a little destructive, can’t they? But they are cute….

    – Mike Oxley

  • Leslie van de Ligt
    Leslie van de ...over 3 years ago

    Never seen one of these fellers before Mike. He certainly looks to be a very bright eyed sharp and handsome little character that’s for sure. A wonderful capture and a Fave. :>)) Leslie

  • Many, many thanks, Leslie, and many thanks, too, for the “fave”! Greatly appreciated! These little guys are very common in these parts but are a little shy. It’s not too often one can get up close.

    – Mike Oxley

  • Colin Metcalf
    Colin Metcalfover 3 years ago

    Excellent capture Mike!

  • Thanks so very much, Colin! Greatly appreciated!

    – Mike Oxley

  • lorilee
    lorileeover 3 years ago

    What a sweet capture . . . love those whiskers!!!

  • Many thanks for your lovely comments, Lorilee!

    – Mike Oxley

desktop tablet-landscape content-width tablet-portrait workstream-4-across phone-landscape phone-portrait

10%off for joining

the Redbubble mailing list

Receive exclusive deals and awesome artist news and content right to your inbox. Free for your convenience.