Tuesday, February 2, 2010

We Have Us a Different Sort of Groundhog

While the rest of the country is concentrating its efforts on a certain rodent by the name of Phil, we Alaskans are taking a more laid-back approach. Winter? Yes, what about it?

We have groundhogs, too, but ours are called something else, which is fine by me, since the name 'groundhog' seems to imply ugliness. Maybe its that 'hog' part. But we call them marmots here in Alaska, a name shared by most of the alpine Pacific Northwest and Europe.

As large members of the rodentia family, marmots are cute, curious, and in our case, lazy this time of year. Alpine marmots are all about missing the second day of February, mostly due to the fact they probably can't get out of their den yet. While America flashes the spotlight on Pux. Phil, Alaska is not watching the activities of our own furry friends because we know better.
The marmot in the photo above is probably mad somebody took his stash of trail mix, since the marmots I have met in my lifetime of hiking are usually quite amicable. Or maybe he/she is yawning.

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