It has been a rough winter so far. Maybe you’re wondering when it will ease up. Forget the weather forecasters; there’s a certain woodchuck in PA that should know something; and if we have to wake him up and drag him out of his hole to tell us, well, that’s what we’re going to do. So it’s with great fanfare that Ground Hog Weekend is here. Hippo Editor Amy Diaz has some suggestions to celebrate right here in New Hampshire, including a way to get up close and personal with whistle-pig.
This humble, sleepy animal annually thrust into the glare of a thousand camera flashes in Pennsylvania by otherwise rational men wearing stovepipe hats has many different common names: Woodchuck, Groundhog, Whistling pig and Marmot. It’s actually the largest member of the squirrel family found in New England, related closely to western marmots.
The etymology of the name “woodchuck” is unrelated to "wood" or to "chucking." The name stems from its Algonquian origins or possibly Cree Indian name: "Wu-chak".