Saturday, February 02, 2008

Our friendly local a tree.

Name: Groundhog (Marmota monax), in the family of land squirrels known as Marmots
Aliases: Woodchuck, land beaver, whistle pig
Habitat: Lowlands, very common in Central and Northeastern United States.
Diet: Mainly eats vegetation such as grasses and berries, but will also eat small bugs

Groundhogs are very good diggers and swimmers and are well known for their burrowing systems. Those burrows are what our local groundhog lives in. Groundhogs also like to climb trees to check out their surroundings, which is also a common behavior seen in our groundhog (see picture above).

Remember, if Punxsutawney Phil sees his shadow today, winter will continue for six more weeks. If he doesn't see his shadow, spring will come early this year. The overall accuracy rate for all groundhog predictions in approx. the last 40 years is 39%.

Now for a fun racing related groundhog story.......

"During the 2007 Canadian Grand Prix, a groundhog disrupted the practice session of Ralf Schumacher. On race day itself, Anthony Davidson had been running in third until he struck a groundhog, initially thought to be a beaver, which forced him to pit and repair the damage to his front wing. In the weeks leading up the Grand Prix, city officials trapped as many groundhogs as they could around the race course and transported the animals to nearby Ile Ste-Helene."

(Seriously, read the news story as well if you have the's pretty funny)



Paul said...

Don't forget Grand Am at Watkins Glen in '05.

"Angelelli had his hands full throughout the race’s final laps, however, and was unable to see Pruett behind him because he had lost both of his mirrors early in the race.
The Italian also managed to keep the lead despite the fact that a woodchuck ran directly into the path of the #10 Riley-Pontiac with three laps remaining. The resulting contact destroyed the car’s right headlight and also did minor damage to the bodywork on the right front of the car, but Pruett was equally affected as the 'debris' from the collision also struck the #01 car.

Angelelli later explained that he had lost the 1996 Macau
Grand Prix
after he struck an animal on course, and was afraid that the same thing would happen in the Crown Royal 250.

“All I saw was this black thing, and I couldn’t understand what it was,” the Italian said, “When I hit it, I thought it should have been bigger because it was a big hit. It moved the car, and the steering wheel. I had nothing at the end, and I’m sure Scott pushed it just as hard as me. This race was really tough, but it was for the championship and this was a win we really, really wanted.”

Donnie said...

What are you doing up at 2 AM?