I had no idea. It’s still sinking in. But don’t take my word for it. Here’s what Julie Noble, from the Forsyth Nature Center in Kingston, has to say about what she calls “Woodchuck Day”: “Groundhogs, also known as woodchucks, are a very common mammal in the Northeast. Sometimes called whistlepigs, these large rodents often sound a loud sharp whistle when they are alarmed. Woodchucks are one of only a handful of species that truly hibernate. Beefing up their bodies with a heavy layer of fat in the early fall (usually chowing down on your garden plants!), these sun-lovers curl up in their long underground burrow where they won’t emerge until spring, having lost a few pounds!”
My family and I discover so much about our area with Julie and the rest of the folks over at Forsyth just by walking around the Nature Center and feeding greens or apples to the animals (RIP Isaac the Bull), or by participating in their interesting, engaging programs, such as their upcoming Hudson River Snowshoe Hikes on February 4 and 11. The hikes are free, but you must register at www.forsythnaturecenter.org.