poetry and prose about place

groundhog burrow

with 14 comments

On my walk in the snowy grey woods, I checked on the burrows of the Groundhog (Marmota monax) near our picnic table.   I have read about the winter habits of the Groundhog and I know he enters true hibernation this time of year.  He does not wake through the winter to feed.  For this reason, I was not surprised to find the snow around the main entrance untouched by any tracks leading to or from the burrow.  The snow has buried the other burrow entrances.  Sleep well, Groundhog family!





groundhog excavates

beneath the fir, a meter cubed of dug

and snug and sifted dirt, disturbed

observes from veiled backdoor

under fibred curtain, dangled root

twisted tunnel, tilted floor


eats well and sleeps but

wakes, stumbles down his bleary halls

for green but white still sifts between

the burrow walls, tells his mate shove over

settles back to hibernate



© Jane Tims  2011




Written by jane tims

December 31, 2011 at 8:06 am

14 Responses

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  1. Lovely drawings – these animals look a little like marmots that live in the Pyrenees. I’ve never seen one other than in photos unfortunately though.


    Sonya Chasey

    January 6, 2012 at 3:55 pm

    • Thanks! I immagine they are related. This fellow posed for us and gave us lots of time to get some photos. I drew from the photos. Jane


      jane tims

      January 7, 2012 at 8:18 am

  2. Love the drawings and poem… I didn’t know groundhogs hibernated in groups. About a month left until Groundhog Day – do they actually come out around that time to check for green or white or shadows?


    Barbara Rodgers

    January 5, 2012 at 4:49 pm

    • Hi. My poem was a bit fanciful. The information I have says they are true hibernators and don’t wake during the winter. But they have to test the situation at some point!??? Jane


      jane tims

      January 5, 2012 at 8:40 pm

  3. Lovely pencil work Jane.


    Keith Palmer

    January 3, 2012 at 4:57 pm

  4. I don’t know how you manage to do all three things in each post! Lovely photo and poem
    Thanks again for the blogging award. I wrote my acceptance post.



    January 1, 2012 at 11:58 pm

    • Hi Rosie. Days never have enough minutes! I love museums, and your post has opened my eyes to the people who visit them!! Jane


      jane tims

      January 2, 2012 at 9:13 am

  5. You make the groundhog look so lovely in your drawings and with your words. We battle with them here, trying to keep them from undermining the dam to the pond.



    December 31, 2011 at 5:46 pm

    • Hi Robin. I admit to being a little extra careful walking in the snow around the picnic table, because I don’t want to discover another back entrance with my ankle!! Jane


      jane tims

      January 1, 2012 at 9:26 am

  6. Charming poetry, very well observed, as is the impressive illustration.


    df barker

    December 31, 2011 at 8:52 am

    • Hi. Thanks! Jane


      jane tims

      December 31, 2011 at 9:53 am

      • Hi Janie,

        Had a little laugh at the image of the groundhog telling her mate to “shove over”.

        Guy and Donna


        Guy and Donna

        December 31, 2011 at 6:16 pm

      • Hi! What a nice surprise… welcome to my nichepoetryandprose. That line came from finding out that groundhogs hibernate as a group. Glad you liked it! Jane


        jane tims

        January 1, 2012 at 9:19 am

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