The Outdoor Hour Challenge this week was to learn about groundhogs/woodchucks, prairie dogs, and marmots.
Since we do not have groundhogs, prairie dogs, or marmots in our area, we just enjoyed reading the information from the Handbook of Nature Study, the Burgess Animal Book, and watching the videos.
After that we needed to take our outdoor time.
We didn’t feel much like going for a walk but once we were on the trail….it was refreshing and it felt good to stretch our legs. The fog was drifting in and out of the trees as we walked and there was a squirrel chattering at us from high up in the trees.
The boys remembered that we had seen a prairie dog at the Arizona-Sonoran Desert Museum and I pulled up the photos to remind us a little more.
Wow, I totally forgot that we saw prairie dogs when we were in Arizona. (We saw so many interesting things at this museum that it isn’t any wonder that I forgot.)
I thought the prairie dog was posing for us because he looked right at us as I snapped the photo. He was rather cute for a rodent. Click on the photo and then tell me….is he posing or not? That is his hole right there between us and it was really big.
Okay, back to our walk.
On our foggy day walk, we started to notice more and more muddy trails off the main trail. We are assuming these are made by animals since this area does not get many visitors this time of year….or any time of the year for that matter. This particular trail heads down into another gully and I can hear in the distance the faint sound of water so I think there must be a creek. One of these days I will convince someone to go exploring with me down one of these trails. The photo looks crooked but it really is a very steep little gully and I imagine in the spring this will not be as noticeable as the trees put back on their leaves.
After completing a little more research, we found that there are marmots in the Sierras and in Yosemite National Park. I have never seen one there but now you know that it will be a goal to see one. 🙂
This was a great challenge for us and we learned a lot about these mammals. This challenge also encouraged us to get out on a day that we would have probably not ventured out as a family and that is the best part of the whole thing.