For the past month, I’ve been seeing a groundhog on the side of the road as I leave the Sequoyah National Wildlife Refuge. It’s on the main road before you get to the T intersection in the S curve. I’ve been wanting to get a photo of this groundhog, but it would always run into the woods when I stopped.
Finally on November 10th, I was able to get a photo of the groundhog while it was sitting on the edge of the road eating on something. I was able to slowly approach the groundhog in my truck without it running away. I took a few photos of the groundhog before it finally disappeared into the woods.
Groundhogs are abundant in parts of North America, yet many people don’t know much about them beyond their weather forecasting abilities. Here are some cool groundhog facts:
- Hibernation Masters: Groundhogs are known for their impressive hibernation skills. During the winter months, they enter a state of torpor, reducing their body temperature and slowing down their metabolism to conserve energy.
- Weather Predictors: Groundhogs have gained fame for their role in predicting the weather, particularly on Groundhog Day (February 2nd). According to folklore, if a groundhog sees its shadow, there will be six more weeks of winter.
- Herbivorous Diet: These furry creatures are primarily herbivores, enjoying a diet that includes grass, fruits, and vegetables. The one I encountered seemed particularly interested in its roadside feast.
- Excellent Diggers: They can dig a tunnel that is up to 50 feet long and five feet deep in a single day.
- Vocal Animals: They have a variety of calls that they use to communicate with each other. For example, they will make a high-pitched whistle to warn other groundhogs of danger.
Getting quality photographs of Groundhogs takes patience and persistence. But the results are worth it. I’m thrilled to have captured images of this roadside groundhog in the wild before winter sets in. Be sure to check back for more dispatches from my Oklahoma wildlife photography adventures!
- Date: 11/10/23
- Time: 11:53 AM
- Camera: Canon EOS R7
- Lens: EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM
- ISO: 800
- Aperture: 5.6
- Shutter: 1/2500
- Exp. Comp.: -0.3
- Lens (mm): 400
- Program Mode: Manual