Lots of garden creatures listen!
Groundhog Day: We feel a rumble beneath our feet!
Other people may joke about Groundhog Day but we're not in that
group. We've been digging for years (and making notes in our talk
about gardening folklore, What the Groundhog Won't
Tell) to learn more about why this northwestern European
tradition planted itself on this particular day, testing our theory
that it harks to ancient ritual and recognition of renewed activity
in the animal world.
Care to share your garden how-to and how-come folklore?
What's the news in the Groundhog Times?
Renewed pee-yoo. We smell skunk and realize we
haven't had that pleasure since late last fall.
Ramped up roadkill. Raccoons are out and about
by night all year. So why do so many turn up dead along the road,
starting now? Skunks and groundhogs (wood chucks), too. They've
awakened, or are moving more often and farther, driven by returning
hunger and, in the case of the male groundhog, the urge to locate
some female company.
Hungry hawks. Breeding time begins about now
for many of the hawks in the northern U.S. Hunting takes on a
remarkable intensity. If you pay heed you'll see two or three times
as many, each camped at the edge of a clearing, ready to lunge.
Birds of prey, foraging methods:
- Flycatching or hawking: Flying from a perch to take aerial
- Gleaning: Taking stationary prey from the ground while
- Hovering: Taking prey from the ground while in flight
- Lunging: Leaping from a stationary position to take moving
- Probing: Searching for and taking prey from within soil, bark
What's Coming Up Issue
145, where the groundhog's chomping and we're doing
the moving and shaking.