Our local groundhog, Hanford Hank, has not seen his shadow today, and so I believe that, here in the Pacific Northwest at least, spring will indeed arrive in six weeks as it should.
Our closest encounters with groundhogs are their cousins the hoary marmots in the meadows of Mt. Rainier.
These guys will not even poke their heads above ground until late April at the earliest. At that time they are skinny little dudes, having hibernated since the previous September. They set out to eat their way through the spring and summer meadows, dining on grasses and wildflowers, lichens and mosses until they have doubled and more their girth, ready with a lovely layer of fat to carry them through another winter of sleep.
We met this marmot in July last year.
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