The old folk tale about seeing the groundhog’s shadow today is probably going to live on forever. That might have something to do with the family they’re in, the Marmots, that have been written about since the 5th Century B.C.
Marmots are North America’s largest squirrels with large heads, bushy tails, and strong claws on the front feet for digging. They use burrows to hibernate, and raise and protect their young.
There are many different species of marmots in several continents across the world. Click here to see various marmot species. We came across the hoary marmot, photographed here, while hiking in the meadows of Mount Rainier in Washington State. They use the rocks and boulders for their hibernation dens.
Other marmots, like the groundhogs, live across the eastern United States and Canada and prefer open, lowland areas. To read more about today’s famous groundhog, click here.
Mt. Rainier is one of my favorite mountains in the world, and sometime I will tell you more about it. Add to that the frolicking hoary marmots with their shaggy hair and non-threatening nature…and it’s a party.
Photo credit: Athena Alexander