19

Groundhog Day Kerfluffle

Fun Facts About Groundhogs. The groundhog is a rodent of the family… | by  U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service | Updates from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife  Service | Medium

Note: In the United States and Canada, February 2 is celebrated as Groundhog Day. According to legend, if a groundhog (or woodchuck) comes out of its den on that day and sees its shadow, it will return to the den and winter will last another six weeks. If it is cloudy, and the groundhog cannot see its shadow, it will remain out and spring will arrive early.

It’s mid-fall somewhere in Northern Michigan. Gustav Groundhog and his family are getting ready for hibernation.

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Monique: Has everybody had enough to eat?

Juliette: I’m stuffed, Mom. Couldn’t eat another bite.

Junior: I’ve been filling up on the last of the rutabagas. I love rutabagas.

Gustav: Remember to leave a couple for the end of the season. I’m going to be hungry when I wake up early.

Juliette: Dad, I don’t understand what the big deal is about Groundhog Day. We should all just sleep until we wake up naturally. Who cares how long winter is going to last?

National Groundhog Day 2022 - Fun Facts - Folklore and Weather Prediction

Gustav: It’s a family tradition. We’ve been the “weather hogs” for generations. It’s not so bad now that I finally got the humans to stop trying to pull me out of the den. If I go out on my own, it’s a lot more pleasant.

Monique: It is really nice getting all of those veggies your fans leave.

Junior: I hope they bring rutabagas this year. There was an awful lot of celery last year.

Juliette: Yeah. And it was still wrapped.

Monique: The flowers were pretty tasty too.

Gustav: All I have to do is walk out of the den, stand on my back legs for a few minutes, and come back in. As long as they get their pictures, everyone’s happy.

Tired groundhog | Jonathan D.-Casey | Flickr

Monique: And if you’re quiet, the rest of us don’t even have to wake up.

Juliette: Yeah, Dad. Quiet. Not like last year when you stepped on all of us.

Gustav: It’s dark in the den at the beginning of February. Besides, that wasn’t me. That was the goofy rabbit I paid to wake me up. I thought rabbits had good eyesight. He couldn’t tell which one was me.

Junior: It’s dark in here because we’re supposed to be asleep. How are you going to keep Herkimer quiet?

Gustav: Don’t worry. I’ll sleep closest to the door this year. Besides, I have the Internet now, so I don’t need Herkimer. I have my own alarm.

Junior: Let me make sure you set it right.

Gustav: Thanks, son. Put it at half-past dawn on the the second.

Groundhogs agree spring is early this year -

Gustav and his family settled in for their long winter nap. Before he knew it, Gustav heard the soft buzzing of his alarm. He carefully turned it off. Gustav got up and stretched. He was cold and sleepy. Hopefully this wasn’t going to take very long. He walked over to the edge of the den and looked out.

He saw some snow in the early light. It would be a little while before the humans showed up. He decided to have a snack and got one of the rutabagas. As he munched, he walked outside. He was surprised to see a line of hedgehogs surrounding his den.

A group of hedgehogs is called a prickle : r/aww

Gustav: Hi, guys. What are you doing here? You’re going to have to move. This is my big day to predict the end of winter. The humans should be arriving shortly.

Hedgehog: I’m Nigel and my buddy is Oliver. We brought some of our friends to protest your ceremony.

Gustav: Why are you protesting? My family’s been doing this for generations.

Nigel: We heard. And it’s not right. This is supposed to be Hedgehog Day, not Groundhog Day.

Gustav: That’s silly. Whoever heard of Hedgehog Day?

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Oliver: It’s not silly. You’ve stolen our day. It started with the Romans. If we come out in early February, it means spring is close. If you don’t see us, winter will last several more weeks.

Gustav: There aren’t any Romans around anymore.

Nigel: No. But some people still celebrate in Europe. It’s particularly popular in Ireland.

Gustav: You’re in Michigan, not Ireland. We celebrate Groundhog Day here. Now get out of my space.

Oliver: We’re not going anywhere. We’ve come to reclaim our holiday. And the treats that go with it. We’re not moving.

Next week: Will Gustav get the hedgehogs to move along so he can collect his Groundhog Day goodies?

Groundhog vs Gopher: 5 Key Differences - AZ Animals

Pictures courtesy of Google Images.

20

The Bear, The Squirrel, and the Walnuts – Part 2

Colorado Bear Eats Huge Amount of Fermented Apples

Where we are: Sammy the Bear is taking a break from hibernation to have a snack. Unfortunately, he’s snacking on Gerald the Squirrel’s walnuts. And Gerald is not happy. Gerald’s friends have all run away in fear while he confronts the bear. You can read Part 1 here.

Watch this angry squirrel go nuts and flick its tail - Futurity

Gerald continued to chatter at Sammy. Sammy watched the squirrel while he continued to munch on walnuts.

Gerald: Bear, you have to stop eating our nuts! We worked hard to gather them, and they’re supposed to last all winter. They don’t belong to you. You’re a thief.

Sammy: You seem pretty excited Mr. Squirrel. I don’t really understand what you’re saying. Are you sure you don’t want any nuts?

Gerald: Yes, I want nuts! I want all the nuts! They’re mine! Go back to bed!

Tired bear is tired : r/gentlemanimals

Sammy stopped eating and scratched himself. He thought about going back to bed. He was still pretty tired. Maybe he should gather up the rest of the nuts and take them with him so he’d have them in the spring. He looked around for something to put them in. Winter was such a bother. It was cold, and everything was bare.

Suddenly, Gerald’s friends reappeared. They had a cardinal with them. They stood at the edge of the clearing and motioned to Gerald. He was too agitated to pay any attention. Finally, the cardinal flew over and chirped at Sammy.

Angeline lim on Twitter | Animals beautiful, Animals wild, Animals  friendship

Sammy: Hello, birdie! You’re so pretty! What do you want?

Cardinal: Sammy! It’s me, Francis. Remember me?

Sammy: Hey, Francis! Long time, no see. What have you been up to?

Francis: Not much. Been pretty busy with the family. You feeling okay? You’re supposed to be sleeping.

Sammy: Yeah. It was the weirdest thing. I got too warm and couldn’t sleep. Then I got hungry. Couldn’t find anything in the den, so I went for a walk.

Francis: This isn’t a good time of year to be looking for food. Everything’s still frozen.

Sammy: I found these walnuts. They’re excellent. I think I’m going to take the rest of them to the den.

Angry squirrel puts rail worker in hospital after carrying out vicious  attack on station - World News - Mirror Online

Gerald started sputtering.

Gerald: You are not taking the rest of my nuts, you big bag of fur! Go back to bed!

Sammy: Hey, Francis. Can you understand what that little squirrel is saying? He sounds really upset, but I can’t make out his dialect.

Squirrel party | This is a group of 4 red squirrel siblings:… | Flickr

Francis looked at the other squirrels. They nodded.

Francis: He’s a friend of those squirrels over there. They gathered these nuts for winter. This guy over here is trying to get them back from you.

Sammy: Oh, that makes a lot of sense. He’s been running around and screaming like a lunatic. I thought he might be having some kind of a fit. I didn’t think about who put the nuts here. Rats! I guess that means I can’t take the rest of them with me.

SQUIRREL TALK #by Alla Gill on prime.500px.com | Squirrel pictures, Cute  animals, Cute squirrel

Gerald: That’s right, furball! They’re mine!!

Wendy: Gerald! Calm down. He didn’t know they belonged to anyone. He wasn’t trying to steal them.

Randy: It sounds like an honest mistake.

Gerald: It doesn’t matter. He took our walnuts. I want a full apology and restitution.

Francis: I don’t think it’s wise to provoke the bear. He didn’t mean any harm.

Sitting Pretty: a grizzly bear plopped down on the snow. | Grizzly bear,  Bear pictures, Animals wild

Gerald sat and thought for a few minutes. Sammy was sitting on the ground, looking sleepy. He had stopped eating the nuts.

Gerald: I guess you guys are right. It’s not like he has anything to replace them with anyway. Francis, will you please tell him that we want the rest of our nuts back?

Francis: I’ll see what I can do.

sad sad bear | very depressing, zoos can be :( | Tam | Flickr

Francis went over to speak with Sammy.

Francis: The squirrels would like the rest of the nuts back.

Sammy: Of course. I feel badly that I ate so many. I wasn’t really awake and thinking. Please tell them that I’m sorry.

Francis: You can tell them yourself. They understand you; Gerald is just hard to understand when he gets that upset.

waving bear | Animals | Know Your Meme

Sammy stood up and waved.

Sammy: Sorry I ate your nuts, guys. I just woke up and was really hungry. Can I help you take them back where they belong before I go back to bed?

Hilarious photos show squirrels lifting nutty 'barbells'

The squirrels gladly accepted his help. Between all of them, it only took one trip to move the remaining nuts. It looked like there would still be enough for the remainder of the winter. As a thank-you, they gave Sammy a pawful to take with him. He happily headed back to bed.

Pictures courtesy of Google Images.

The Secret Life of Sleeping Bears - FOUR PAWS in US - Global Animal  Protection Organization

17

The Bear, The Squirrel, and the Walnuts

Could humans hibernate like bears? – The Hill

It had been a fairly warm winter, and Sammy Bear was restless. He tried shifting hibernation positions several times, but could not get back into a deep sleep. Finally, he decided to get up before he woke up his wife Sandra. He stumbled out to the front of the den and realized that he was hungry.

Winter means hibernation for some — but not all — of Kodiak's bears

Sammy rummaged around the den, but there wasn’t anything to eat. He looked outside. There was a little snow, but nothing to stop him from having a look around. He slowly walked out. He had never been out of the den during the winter before. It was very quiet in the woods. He didn’t really like the cold on his feet. Sammy hoped he could find something quickly and get back to bed.

Find Out What Bears Really Do In The Woods | Idaho Fish and Game

He sniffed the bushes. Nothing there. Not a leftover berry in sight. No grubs or bugs either. No wonder we sleep all winter, he thought. There must be something out here. He wandered a little further from the den. Suddenly his nose started twitching.

How Do Black Bears Respond to Wind? - North American Bear CenterNorth  American Bear Center

Nuts! He could smell walnuts. Sammy loved walnuts. He looked around and didn’t see anything. He walked toward the smell and discovered a rotten tree with a hole in it. He reached in and grabbed a pawful of walnuts. Bonanza!

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service - Black bears are common across many parts  of the United States. They are resourceful omnivores that eat meat,  berries, insects, nuts, seeds, plant roots, and pretty

Sammy ate several pawsful of the walnuts. They were delicious.

🔥 cute squirrel family : r/NatureIsFuckingLit

Meanwhile, Gerald Squirrel was conferring with his family.

Gerald: It looks like it’s going to be a good winter for us. Everybody’s healthy, and we should have plenty to eat.

Wendy: Yes, we were very fortunate that we found all of those nuts at the end of the season. They’ll last until the weather improves.

Sally: Do you think they’ll be safe in that old tree?

Gerald: I’m sure they’ll be fine. Everyone knows they belong to us.

Randy: I’d feel better if we brought them closer to the nest. You never know what might happen.

Wendy: He’s right. They are quite a long way from here. We should bring them closer to home.

Gerald: I suppose it wouldn’t hurt to move them. We don’t want to have to traipse all the way over there if we get a storm.

Late-Season Squirrels

The squirrels decided to spend the day moving their nuts. They raced over to the old tree.

Wendy: Do you see that? There’s a bear at our tree!

Randy: And he’s eating our nuts.

Sally: What are we going to do?

Gerald: We have to tell him to get away from our nuts.

Eastern Gray Squirrel Running Photograph by Philippe Henry - Fine Art  America

Gerald started to run up to the bear, but Wendy stopped him.

Wendy: Are you crazy? That bear will eat you next.

Gerald: Bears don’t eat squirrels.

Wendy: He might. He’s not supposed to be awake right now.

Randy: Yeah. He’s probably a crazy bear.

Squirrel II | Grey squirrel sitting up having noticed me. | Lawrence OP |  Flickr

Gerald hesitated.

Gerald: Do you think so? He doesn’t look crazy. He’s just sitting there eating nuts. Our nuts.

Sally: I think we should let him have the nuts.

Gerald: What are we supposed to eat? We worked hard getting those nuts.

Wendy: It’s not worth getting eaten.

Gerald: He’s not going to eat us.

angry squirrel - The Hollywood Gossip

The squirrels sat down and watched Sammy. He was certainly enjoying the walnuts. Gerald became more and more frustrated. Finally, he couldn’t take it anymore. Gerald ran straight toward Sammy, chattering wildly. The other squirrels watched in horror. Gerald stopped in front of Sammy.

Gerald: Look here, bear. Those are our nuts, and you have no right to them. Stop eating immediately!

523 Confused Bear Stock Photos, Pictures & Royalty-Free Images - iStock

Sammy looked at Gerald in confusion. He couldn’t understand a word the squirrel was saying. He had always been bad at other languages, and the squirrel was speaking very quickly. He could tell that Gerald was upset about something.

Sammy: Hello, little squirrel. What’s wrong? Would you like a nut?

PsBattle: These overly friendly bears : r/photoshopbattles

Sammy held out his paw with a walnut. Gerald didn’t know what to do. He looked at the other squirrels but they had disappeared. He was alone with the big bear.

Which is Worse? Senior or Spring Rates? - JJKeegan+

Next week: Can the bear and the squirrel be friends and share the walnuts?

Pictures courtesy of Google Images.

14

Jake Rabbit, the Very Bad Hibernation Lodger – Part 2

Can My Bunny Play In The Snow? - Bunny Parents

Where we are: Jake Rabbit had been planning to spend the winter with his girlfriend Suzy in the home of the hibernating Woodchuck family. Unfortunately, he made too much noise and woke up the Woodchucks. Now he had to find a new place to stay. You can read Part 1 here.

Early the next morning, Suzy set out to find Jake. It didn’t take long. He was under the other end of the porch where the Woodchucks had burrowed. He looked pretty bedraggled.

sleepy bunny Free Photo Download | FreeImages

Suzy: Jake! What are you doing here?

Jake (embarrassed): I kinda got lost last night. After hopping around for a while, I came back here to get a little sleep.

Suzy: Where are you going to go?

Jake: I don’t know. Do you think I can go back and apologize to Wally?

Suzy: I don’t think that’s a good idea. He’s sleeping.

Jake: Oh, right. Maybe he wouldn’t notice if I just slipped back in.

You Shall Not Pass: Sweet But Angry Groundhog Tries to Scare People Off With Evil Laughter

Suzy: That is not a good idea.

Jake: Maybe we can find a place of our own.

Suzy: It’s the middle of winter. All of the good spots are taken. And there aren’t any leaves or grass around to make a bed.

Jake: Right. That’s a problem.

Suzy: What about your buddies? Maybe you can stay with one of them?

Jake: Nah. They’re a bunch of slobs. It would drive me nuts living with them.

Suzy: Could you move back home?

Jake: I don’t want to go back there.

Rabbit Fact Sheet | Blog | Nature | PBS

Suzy: Why not? I’m sure your Mom would let you stay.

Jake: It’s embarrassing. I said I was ready to leave home.

They went for a walk around the woods. It was a beautiful day. There were deer and squirrels running around. They didn’t see any of their friends, but ran into a couple of Jake’s sisters.

Jasmine: Jacob! How are you? We miss you!

Jake: I’m good.

Rabbits -- sad rabbit.

Jenny: How do you like living with the Woodchucks? Is it hard being quiet all the time?

Jasmine (looking at Suzy): We have a bet about how long he’s going to last before he gets in trouble.

Jenny (laughing): Yeah. Jake’s kinda loud for a rabbit.

Suzy and Jake looked at each other but didn’t say anything. Jenny stopped laughing.

Jenny: What’s wrong? Isn’t it working out?

Jake: That stupid woodchuck threw me out last night.

How High Can Rabbits Jump? - Sand Creek Farm | Rabbit jumping, Wild bunny, Animals

Suzy: Jake! He’s not stupid! You woke him up. He had a right to be mad.

Jake: Whose side are you on? I thought you were my girlfriend.

Suzy: I am. But you knew they were sleeping, and you had a party.

Jasmine: That was kinda dumb, Jake.

Jenny: Yeah. We love you, but no one could sleep through one of your parties.

Jake: I guess you’re right. It was dumb. But now I don’t have anywhere to live.

Pet-n-Sur - How do rabbits show happiness?

They all sat and thought for a few minutes. Jasmine started smiling.

Jasmine: Hey, Jen. Didn’t Aunt Sheila say that she was looking for someone to help around the house?

Jenny: That’s right! She’s been having a terrible time trying to find anyone.

Suzy: Isn’t she the one that lives in that gorgeous burrow by the big oak tree?

Jenny: Yep. It’s huge.

Suzy: You should talk to her.

HD lots of rabbits wallpapers | Peakpx

Jake: I don’t know. She has like a million kids. It’s a zoo over there.

Jenny: That’s why she needs someone to help.

Jasmine: You’d be perfect! You’re like a big kid.

The three girl rabbits talked Jake into visiting Sheila. He didn’t really like little rabbits, but he didn’t want to spend another night hiding under the porch. He nervously knocked at the door.

Sheila: Jake! It’s so nice to see you! How are you? Jennifer! Jasmine! And a beautiful stranger! Come in!

100 years ago: Rabbits burrow into willow tree | Environment | The Guardian

They all entered the burrow. It was beautiful. Sheila listened while Jake explained that he was looking for a place to spend the winter. There were several young rabbits running around, but it was not at all crowded.

Sheila: You are welcome to stay here if you would like, Jake. You can have a room at the back.

Jake: That would be wonderful! Can I have friends over?

Sheila:  Certainly. We can’t have any parties, of course, because of the children. But your girlfriend is more than welcome to visit, if she’d like. And, of course, your family is welcome.

Jake couldn’t believe his luck. He promised himself that this time would be different.

30 Cute Bunny Pictures to Make You Smile — Adorable Bunnies

Pictures courtesy Google Images.

21

Jake Rabbit, the Very Bad Hibernation Lodger

Teddy wants everyone to see his party hat and give him compliments : r/ Rabbits

Suzy Bunny had been subletting a room from Wally Woodchuck and his family for several months. She was a very sweet bunny, and they treated her like a daughter. Towards the end of summer, she brought her boyfriend Jake home to meet the Woodchucks.

Suzy: Everyone, this is Jake.

They all greeted him and invited him for dinner. He was a very charming rabbit and soon won everyone over with his jokes and laid-back manner. It wasn’t long before he was visiting every day.

When the weather began to cool down, Jake had an idea.

The rabbit on hind legs Desktop wallpapers 1366x768

Jake: Suzy, how about I move in with you for the winter? I need a place to get out of the snow, and it’s really nice here under the porch.

Suzy: You mean like we would be living together? That sounds awesome!

Jake: Yeah! Do you think it would be okay with the Woodchucks?

Suzy: I don’t know why they would mind they seem to really like you.

Jake: You should ask. I know they think of you like family.

Groundhog Day 2018 Results Are Very Different | Time

Suzy approached Wally and Wanda, explaining that she would like to have Jake move in. They looked at each other.

Wally: You know that we love you, Suzy. But we hibernate in the winter, and we’re just getting ready to settle down. We think it’s fine for you to stay here, but we really don’t know about having anyone else in the burrow.

Wanda: He seems like a nice young man, but rabbits don’t hibernate. We really need our rest.

Suzy was disappointed, but she went back to tell Jake that the answer was no. He didn’t say anything right away. But the next time he visited for dinner, he brought it up.

Two bunnies cuddling (Melts my Heart) : r/aww

Jake: You know, winter is coming and I really need someplace to stay in the bad weather. I’ve been dating Suzy for about six months now, and it would be perfect if I could just move in with her.

Wally: Where are you now, Jake?

Jake: I’m with my parents, but I don’t really belong there, being a fully grown rabbit and all.

Wally: That’s probably true. They’ll be having little ones in the spring, more likely than not.

Jake: Exactly. And I really don’t have any privacy. It’s not like I can take Suzy back there.

HotSpot Pictures | Sleepy groundhog

Wanda: We really like you, Jake. But we’re concerned about having someone coming and going at all hours while we’re trying to hibernate. Suzy is very quiet, and we think that she’ll be fine. We really don’t know you very well.

Jake: You won’t even know I’m here. I promise.

Suzy: You have my word. I’ll make sure he’s as quiet as I am.

5 Natural Ways To Get Rid of Groundhogs - Farmers' Almanac - Plan Your Day.  Grow Your Life.

The Woodchucks thought about it for a few days, and decided to let Jake move in. It was only a couple of weeks before hibernation, and they were busy gathering their nesting materials and eating extra to put on some weight. The only thing that they really noticed was that he seemed to have a lot of friends all of a sudden.

Wally: Well, this is good-night for the season. The kids are all settled in. Wanda and I wanted to see if you had any questions before we turn in.

Jake: Where do you keep the extra food? I noticed that there really isn’t much in the pantry.

Wanda: We don’t keep food over the winter. We’re sleeping. It’s up to you and Suzy to feed yourselves.

Jake: Oh. I guess I hadn’t really thought it through. That makes sense.

Do Rabbits Hibernate in Winter? {How do they Survive?} » Birds & Wild

Suzy: It’s okay, sweetie. You’ve foraged before haven’t you?

Jake: Not, really. I lived at home. Guess I’ll have to pick it up.

Wally: Anything else?

Jake: Exactly how soundly do you guys sleep? I mean, what if there’s an emergency?

Wally: What kind of emergency?

Jake: I don’t know. What if we need you?

Punxsutawney Phil's Groundhog Day 2012: A Shadowy Science

Wally and Wanda looked at each other.

Wally: Good night, Jake. Have a good winter, Suzy.

Suzy: Sleep well, guys. See you in the spring.

Jake started hopping around.

Jake: This is really weird. They’re going to sleep for months?

Suzy: That’s how hibernation works. We’ll be fine.

Commentary: Hibernation? Give it a rest | Chanhassen Opinion |  swnewsmedia.com

The Woodchucks get settled in for the winter, and are peacefully hibernating. Suzy and Jake were adjusting to life together.

Jake: We should have a party! You know, like a housewarming!

Suzy: We can’t have a party. The Woodchucks are hibernating.

Jake: How about something small? Just a few of our friends.

Reluctantly, Suzy agreed. A few rabbits came over one night. Suzy checked on the Woodchucks, and they seemed to be fine.

Group of rabbits eating food in the garden | Rabbit feeding, What to feed  rabbits, Rabbit eating

Jake: See? I told you it would be okay.

Jake got into the habit of having a few of his buddies over every couple of days. One or two of them seemed to be pretty much living at the burrow. Suzy didn’t really notice because she was busy outside of the burrow. She really liked winter. Jake didn’t notice that the Woodchucks were a little restless in the their hibernation.

Jake: Suzy, this is great! It’s like having our own place. It’s like the Woodchucks aren’t even here.

Suzy: I’m getting nervous, Jake. This isn’t our place, and we really don’t know how much noise they won’t hear. I promised them I would be quiet.

Jake: Relax. They’re out for the season.

Researchers find the secret of the bunny hop: it's all in the genes |  Genetics | The Guardian

Jake decided to throw a party. Suzy went along because she really liked Jake. Things were going pretty well until a bunch of rabbits started dancing. They were shaking the whole burrow. Suddenly, a very large form stood in the doorway.

Wally: I thought I told you that you needed to be quiet?

Jake didn’t even see him. Suzy poked him to attention.

Jake: What?

Groundhog Day 2022: Forecast, Facts, and Folklore - Farmers' Almanac - Plan  Your Day. Grow Your Life.

Wally: I TOLD YOU TO BE QUIET IF YOU WANTED TO STAY HERE!

Jake: Did we wake you?

Wally: Of course, you woke me. You woke everyone in the neighborhood. You need to leave. Now.

The other rabbits had scattered when they saw the large woodchuck. It was only Suzy and Jake in the burrow.

Suzy: I’m so sorry. I didn’t realize it was going to be so loud. I shouldn’t have agreed to it.

Wally: No, you shouldn’t have. He has to go. Or you both have to go. Now.

Jake slunk out into the darkness. He had no idea where he was going. Suzy was in tears. Wally stomped back to bed.

Next week: What is going to happen to Jake?

Can Rabbits Stay Outside in the Winter? | Rabbit Hole Hay

Pictures courtesy of Google Images.

11

Live Big: Celebrate National American Bison Day

Plains Bison (Bison bison bison) | U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service

Greetings. Exciting news. Today is National American Bison Day! You know, those huge hairy beasts roaming the North American plains. The ones everyone used to call buffaloes. They’re the largest mammal in North America, and they have their own day to celebrate their awesomeness.

Bison Bellows: A New Initiative to Celebrate Bison (U.S. National Park  Service)

We’re lucky we still have this beauties with us. Before the European settlers arrived, there were approximately 30-60 million bison roaming around. (We know that’s a wide range, but bison weren’t very good recordkeepers.) Native Americans used bison for food, clothing, shelter, and other things, but the settlers hunted them almost to extinction. (They were also not very good with rifles.) We only have about 10,000 left, living in 17 herds. They live in the western U.S. and Canada.

Bison Interests - Investment Firm, Oil and Gas Investments

Every year since 2012, the US Senate has passed a resolution declaring the first Saturday in November as National Bison Day. (No, we have no idea why they have to do it every year. It doesn’t really seem controversial.) Even better, on May 9, 2012 President Obama made the American Bison the National Mammal of the U.S. with the National Bison Legacy Act.

First baby bison of the year born at Fermilab

Bison Fun Facts

  • They can weigh up to 1,000 pounds (that’s like 100 cats)
  • They originated in Southeast Asia about 2.5-2.6 million years ago. Yellowstone Park is the only place in the U.S. where they have lived continuously since prehistoric times.
  • They are a lot faster than they look. They can run up to 35 miles per hour.
  • They have poor eyesight, but their hearing and sense of smell help compensate.
  • They live up to 20 years.
  • The babies are called red dogs.

9 Laughing Animals | Laughing animals, Baby animals, Cute animals

Bison Riddles

What did the mother say when her son went to college?  Bison.

How can you tell there’s a bison under your sleeping bag? The ceiling of your tent is very close.

How can you tell a bison from a field mouse? Try to pick it up. If you can’t, it’s either a bison or a very large mouse.

What do you get when you cross peanut butter with a bison? Either peanut butter that roams the range or a bison that sticks to the roof of your mouth.

What do you call a bison at the North Pole? Lost.

What kind of car does a bison drive? A Furrari.

What animal is always the designated driver? Water buffalo.

What time is it when a bison sits on your bed? Time to get a new bed.

65 Different Species of Animals Laugh, Says a New Study

Bison Jokes

The devout cowboy lost his favorite Bible while he was mending fences out on the range. Three weeks later, a bison walked up to him carrying the Bible in its mouth. The cowboy couldn’t believe his eyes. He took the precious book out of the bison’s mouth, raised his eyes heavenward and exclaimed, “It’s a miracle!” “Not really,” said the bison. “Your name is written inside the cover.”

A man and his pet bison walk into a bar. It’s about 5 pm, but they settle in for a night of drinking. They spend the night drinking, one drink after another. Finally, it’s last call. The man says, ” One more for me, and one more for my bison.” The bartender sets them up, and they down the drinks. The bison falls over, dead. The mans throws some money on the bar, puts on his coat, and goes to leave. The bartender yells after him, “You can’t leave that lyin’ there.:The man responds, “It’s not a lion; it’s a bison.”

Bovini/Bisonte Americano(Bison Bison): | American bison, Animals, Herding

A bison sits down next to a man in a movie theater. The man asks, “Are you a bison?” “Yes, I am.” The man is surprised. “Why are you at the movies.” The bison replies, “I liked the book.”

A policeman stops a man who has a baby bison in the front seat of his car. “Why do you have a baby bison? You should take him to the zoo.” The man nods and drives off. The next week, the officer sees them again. They are both wearing hats and sunglasses. He pulls the car over. “I thought I told you to take the bison to the zoo.” The man replies, “I did, officer. We had such a good time, we’re going to the beach this week.”

Numbat - ZooBorns

Hope you found this entertaining. In case you’re interested, November 5th is also National Redhead Day, World Tsunami Awareness Day, Chinese Food Takeout Day, and World Numbat Day. Numbats are banded anteaters (also known as walpurti), who live in western Austalia. If you live in the UK, it is primarily known as Guy Fawkes Day/Gunpowder Day/Bonfire night. They are celebrating either an attempt to blow up Parliament or the successful repression of that attempt.

Regardless, we think it’s Bison who rule the day.

National Bison Month - American Humane - American Humane

Pictures courtesy of Google Images

Jokes courtesy of http://www.jokes4us.com/animaljokes/buffalojokes.

12

Gator Family Vacation: A Punk Croc Odessey – Part 2

Alligators spotted at Lake Worth over Memorial Day Weekend | wfaa.com

Where we are – The gators decided to head north for a family vacation on Lake Michigan. Meanwhile, Uncle Stu has been road-tripping with his favorite punk croc band, Acrocalypse. Stu called Granny to have Stan meet him in Detroit. Stan and his family pull up outside a landmark club on Detroit’s west side, The Swamp. You can read Part 1 here.

Police wrangle 9-foot alligator outside Florida apartment building – WSVN  7News | Miami News, Weather, Sports | Fort Lauderdale

Justine: Gee, Dad. This place looks a little scary.

Stan: Don’t worry, girls. It’s just showing its age. This club has been around for years.

Stan walked up and tried to open the door, but it was locked. He walked around back and tried that door.

Stan: That’s odd. I know Stu said The Swamp.

Adele: Knowing Stu, he got the right club in the wrong city. Try calling him.

Alligator Crawling out of Apartment Storm Drain Shocks Local Residents

Stan dialed the number and it rang. No answer and the mailbox was full. Stan let out a low growl. He called his mother.

Stan: Hi, Mom. Have you heard from Uncle Stu? I’m at the club, and there’s no one around.

Granny: Didn’t you get his message?

Stan: What message?

Granny: The band went out last night, and the bus broke down. They need you to pick them up in Flint.

Stan: Flint! We just drove through Flint. Why didn’t he call me?

Granny: I don’t know, dear. But they need to be back in Detroit in time for tonight’s show, so you better hurry.

Back seat alligator | Animals | Know Your Meme

Stan was growling loudly by now. He turned the car around, and they drove an hour back to Flint. It wasn’t hard to find the Acrocalype bus. There weren’t many black-and-purple VW buses roaming the streets. 

Stan: Uncle Stu! We finally found you!

Stu: Stan! You made it! I was getting worried about you. Adele! It’s so nice to see you. Beautiful as ever. And the girls growing more gorgeous daily. C’mon. Let me introduce you to the guys!

The Three Crocodiles. The sun crept below the mangroves… | by Auden Wright  | The Authentic Eclectic | Medium

Stu introduced them to three rather small crocodiles. 

Stu: This is Billy Joe, Iggy, and Mick. Better known as Acrocalypse.

Stan: Pleased to meet you.

Billy Joe: The pleasure is ours. We appear to be stranded.

Stan: What happened?

Stu: We decided to see a band up here on our night off. When we got up this morning, the van wouldn’t start. I need you to take a look at it.

Stan: Me? I’m not a mechanic. You had me drive all the way down here to look at your van?

Robert Irwin Shares Video Of Alligator Enjoying A Car Ride | ETCanada.com

Stu: Don’t be silly. I invited you to the club. But first we have to get to the club. So I need you to get the van moving. (Whispers) These are nice guys, but they don’t know the first thing about anything practical.

Stan rolled his eyes. He could hear Justine and Suzy giggling. Adele was trying not to smile. Stan opened the hood and told Stu to try to start the engine. He listened for a minute.

Stan: When was the last time you put gas in this thing?

Stu: Um. Probably about three days ago. It usually lasts about a week while we’re on a gig. We should still have a couple days worth of gas left.

Stan: How far do you usually drive?

Stu: Just around the city.

Stan: You’re not in the city. You’re in Flint.

Gator Snaps Up Low Fuel Prices at Flagler Airport - GoToby.com: Florida  Real Estate Newsalligator at flagler airport - GoToby.com: Florida Real  Estate News

Stu: Oh yeah. I shoulda got gas.

Iggy: Man, Stu, you really shoulda got gas.

Stu: Okay. Let’s get gas and get back. We gotta get Stan ready for the show.

Stan: What do you mean, get me ready for the show?

Mick: You’re our bass guy for the next few nights. Iggy’s got a bad paw.

Stan: I’m not a bass player.

Billie Joe: Stu said you can play.

Global Times - 【Odd】A baby crocodile holds an electric guitar as it leans  against a tree at a crocodile breeding sanctuary in Tangerang, Indonesia.  Photo: IC http://www.globaltimes.cn/content/1030457.shtml | Facebook

Stan: I’m an accountant.

Iggy: Stu, you said he could play. You said he could play our stuff.

Stu: He can play your stuff. He was in a band called Blind Justice. They were very popular locally.

Stan: That was years ago. And we weren’t punkers. We were rockers.

Stu: You were good.

Justine: You were in a band, Dad?

Stan: It was a long time ago. When I was in college and just after.

Adele: You still play once in a while.

Stan: Not professionally.

Scientists Gave Alligators Ketamine and Headphones to Understand Dinosaur  Hearing

Suzy: Dad, you have to try.

Stu drove with the gators back to Detroit. By the time they arrived, Stan had agreed to try playing with Billie Joe and Mick.

Mick: Okay. Let’s start with “I Wanna Eat Your Dog.”

Stan joined in after a few notes and kept up with the band. Stu was nodding his head and keeping time. They moved through a few more of the old hits: “I Wanna Be Your Frog,” “Eat on the Brat,” and “Cairo Calling.” Stan was having a great time. The girls weren’t sure whether they were impressed or appalled.

Suzy: Dad, you’re actually pretty good.

Justine: I’m impressed. I have to post this on my GatorGram.

American Alligator (Alligator mississippiensis)

The band mates huddled together, whispering. Stu looked at them nervously. Finally, Mick motioned him over, and they whispered some more. 

Iggy: The doc says I can’t play for about a week. Think you can cover the gig?

Stan: I don’t know. I’m supposed to be back at work.

Stu: Call them. Tell them it’s a family emergency.

Adele: Go ahead, honey. How many chances like this will you get?

And Stan got to live out the fantasy of many middle-aged former rockers.

29 Funny alligators ideas | funny, bones funny, funny pictures

Pictures courtesy of Google Images.

16

Gator Family Vacation: A Punk Croc Odessey

Why Are Alligators Showing Up on Beaches? | The Weather Channel

Stan and Adele were basking in the warm Michigan sun. For some reason, the family had decided to vacation Up North by Lake Michigan this year.

Suzy: Hey, Dad. Who planned this year’s vacation? It’s really pretty here.

Justine: It is pretty. But I got cold last night. You should have packed blankets, Mom.

Adele: It’s no worse than home in the winter.

Alligator On Sand - DesiComments.com

Stan: We’re only going to be here a few more days. I really like the sand. It doesn’t catch in my toes like the rocks by our creek.

Adele: I’m pretty sure your cousin Danny suggested it. He came up here when he was interviewing for a residency.

Suzy: I can’t believe he graduated from Animal Tech and is a real bird doctor.

Justine: I still think it’s goofy that he wants to treat birds. Where’s he going to work?

Stan: He got a really good offer from a clinic in the Everglades.

Everglades Holiday Park Airboat Tours & Rides | Alligators

Justine: Ooh! Gator nirvana! And he won’t have to worry about snow like up here. I can’t believe he even considered Michigan.

Adele: I guess they have a lot of birds in all these trees.

Just then, they heard a loud splash. Cousin Penelope had married her boyfriend Maxwell. They were trying to get their son Stephen into the water.

Penelope: C’mon, sweetie. Let’s go in the water.

Stephen: I don’t want to, Mama. You know I don’t like water.

Do Alligators Live in Saltwater or Freshwater? - AZ Animals

Maxwell: Don’t be ridiculous. You’re an alligator. We love water. It’s how we cool down.

Stephen: I’m not hot.

Maxwell: We’ll just get our feet wet.

Stephen: I don’t wanna.

Penelope: It’ll be fun.

Stephen: I don’t wanna.

Maxwell snuck up behind Stephen and pushed hard with his snout. Stephen landed in the water with a thud. The water only came partway up his legs, but Stephen was not happy. He started howling.

Young alligators basking under the sun. - Picture of Alligator Adventure,  North Myrtle Beach - Tripadvisor

Penelope: Stephen, just relax. It’s only water. You’ll have fun if you stop complaining. Look at your cousins. They’re having a great time.

Stephen: I don’t care. I don’t like water.

Finally, Penelope and Maxwell gave up. They all returned to the beach. Stephen was shivering.

Justine: How bizarre.

Suzy (giggling): You know what a princess Penelope has always been. The kid’s just like her.

Alligator Adventure - North Myrtle Beach, South Carolina - Top Brunch Spots

The gators laid on the warm sand and enjoyed the sun with their eyes closed. Stan was just about asleep.

Granny: Stan! Wake up! I have to talk to you.

Stan opened one eye.

Stan: What’s up?

Granny: It’s your Uncle Stu. He needs your help.

Stu was a beloved elder member of the family. He kept the others entertained with his stories. Part of the reason he had so many stories was his legendarily bad sense of direction. He spent many hours being in the wrong place and trying to get home.

dreamt that alligators and crocodiles became famous music artists and it  was very popular news, they also wore headphones for some reason : r/Dreams

He hadn’t joined the family vacation because he was spending the summer touring with his favorite punk croc band, Acrocalypse. He had been a fan for years, since it had evolved from its swamp rock roots, the band Creedence Crocodile Redemption.

Stu had been welcomed by the band and had been traveling with them on the tour bus. He did odd jobs along the way. It seemed to be working out well for everyone.

Stan: What happened? Did he miss the bus?

Granny: I don’t think so. He said he needs your help.

Gators – Gatorland

Stan: Doing what?

Granny: He didn’t say. But he want you to meet him in Detroit.

Stan loved Uncle Stu, but it was always an adventure when Stu needed help. Nothing was ever easy.

Stan: Why me? Everyone’s in Michigan. Can’t someone else go? What about my family?

You can take them with you. Please? Do it for me.

Stan sighed. He talked to Adele, and they made plans to leave for Detroit in the morning.

Next week: If he wasn’t lost, why did Stu need Stan?

Robert Irwin Shares Video Of Alligator Enjoying A Car Ride | ETCanada.com

Pictures courtesy of Google Images.

17

There Goes the Neighborhood: The Groundhogs’ Bad Season: Part 2

Groundhog Day: Munching Marmots Emerge From the Scientific Shadows - The  New York Times

Where we are: Harold and Madge Groundhog were concerned that their yard was being beautified in preparation of being sold. They were rather fond of their human; they and the other animals pretty much had the run of the place. You can read Part 1 here.

Harold: It’s getting worse. Now the other human, the younger one, is starting to clean up the yard too.

Madge: I know. The sticks are all gone, and the grass is shorter than it’s been in ages.

Harold: And the sidewalks are all clean.

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Madge: Our human is out every weekend, clearing away the weeds. I guess it’s more the way humans like it, but I miss the overgrowth. She got rid of all the grape vines. She said they were “invasive.”

Harold: Just because they were trying to root in the vinyl siding.

Sara Squirrel: Isn’t that like ivy-league? I thought that was high-class for humans.

Madge: Beats me. All I know is that the sun is getting into our home a lot more than it used to. And I don’t really feel safe anymore.

Roger Raccoon: Me and my friends have been trying to keep it from getting too clean. We’ve dumped the catnip and tomato plants a couple of times.

Ricky Raccoon: Not that you can tell. It gets cleaned up first thing in the morning.

Harold: And they moved some of the stuff inside.

Madge: They keep putting the catnip back down for that new cat to lie in.

Sara Squirrel: Yeah. Those two cats act like they own the place. I thought for sure the inside cats would try to drive them off, but they don’t seem to care.

Pierre Rabbit: I saw the human planting some stuff in front of the house.

Just then a bat flew over. The bats didn’t really like the rest of the animals, but he was curious about what was going on.

Benson: Hey, guys. What’s up?

Madge: We’re worried that the humans are getting the place ready to sell.

Raccoon Will Clean Your House For Treats [VIDEO] | Raccoon funny, Pet  raccoon, Raccoon

Benson: You should see what’s going on inside. Major cleaning. Whole rooms are being cleared out.

Madge: Are they talking about moving?

Benson: I wish. My whole family has been living peacefully in the attic. They stirred everything up; we’re all moving out to the bat house. It’s ridiculous inside.

 Madge: But that’s your home!

Benson: It’s not worth it. The human is afraid of us. Every time she sees a bat, she gets the younger one and he puts us out. We’d rather leave on our own terms.

Guide to game: Rabbit and hare

Pierre: It’s not so bad out here. We have a lot of room, and no one bothers us.

Priscilla Rabbit: Did you hear the humans say anything about selling the house?

Benson: No. That’s not what’s going on. I guess that the other main human died a couple of years ago. They’re just finally getting around to really cleaning everything up. It’s a big house and a big yard.

Harold: Yeah. I guess it would take a lot of energy to get things straightened out.

Benson: The humans who are left said something about the one who’s gone being a pack rat. I don’t really know what that means. I saw pictures. He looks like all the other humans.

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Harold: Weird. I don’t think we have rats around here. I think they look like big mice.

Mortimer Mouse: Yeah. Kinda. But not so cute.

Harold: Do you know what a pack rat is?

Mortimer: I think it has something to do with the way that some rats hoard things.

Benson: Yeah. That sounds right. They are throwing away a LOT of stuff in the house.

Harold: And a lot of stuff out here.

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Priscilla: But they attracted those two cats. I don’t really like cats.

Pierre: But as long as they feed the cats, the cats don’t bother us.

Priscilla: Good point.

Roger: If they’re not cleaning to sell, we can probably stop trashing the plants on the porch.

Ricky: Sounds good to me. They’re not growing anything good anyway.

Madge (sighing): I guess that means I have to live with less privacy.

Woodchuck Food Habits - Woodchuck Wonderland

Benson: I overheard them say something about moving some of the peonies into the space they cleared.

Madge: Ooh! I love peonies. I hope that’s soon.

Benson: I did hear one other thing. There is no plan to clear the back area anytime soon.

Ricky: All right! Block party this weekend!!

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Pictures courtesy of Google Images

20

There Goes the Neighborhood: The Groundhogs’ Bad Season

Groundhog Photos and Facts

The groundhog family had been living under the porch of the old farmhouse for generations. It was a pretty nice location: the humans didn’t spend too much time outside, and they never bothered the groundhogs. There was plenty of clover to eat and even an ornamental peach tree to climb.

Life had been particularly good in the past couple of years. Something had happened to the male human, and the female human stopped working in the yard almost entirely. The garden in front of the porch got overgrown, and it was hard to even see under the porch. The groundhogs were thrilled. Nothing bothered them, and they came and went as they pleased.

File:Groundhog on rock.jpg - Wikipedia

But this past spring something changed.

Harold: Hey Madge, you notice that the human seems more active than usual?

Madge: Yeah. She’s been over at the side of the house digging around. She’s talking about putting in a rock garden.

Harold: That would be nice. It would give us someplace to sun.

Madge: That’s true. We wouldn’t have to walk around to the back of the house anymore.

Harold: I hope she doesn’t dig up all the clover.

Madge: I wouldn’t worry about it. It hasn’t happened in the 20 years our family’s lived here.

Harold: Excellent point.

Woodchuck Food Habits - Woodchuck Wonderland

Indeed, soon enough the human stopped digging up the side of the house. She came back one day with a bunch of plants that she put on the porch.

Madge: Did you see all that gorgeous greenery. It looks pretty yummy.

Harold: It’s awfully close to the house. I’m not going up there to explore.

Madge: I think she’s going to plant some of it in our yard.

Harold: Oooh. That will be nice. The more green, the better.

Nature Notes: Winter is Coming | The Michigan Nature Guy's Blog

However, the human didn’t put the new plants in the yard. She moved them into larger pots and left them on the porch. One morning, the groundhogs heard digging.

Harold: Look, Madge. She’s clearing the part of the yard by the other front porch. Maybe that’s where she’s going to grow our new plants.

Madge: That would be convenient. I wonder if we should figure out a way to tell her where to put the stuff we like best.

Harold: Let’s go explore what’s up there.

Woodchuck Food Habits - Woodchuck Wonderland

The groundhogs discovered that most of the plants were too high to reach. There were a couple of bushes and some catnip. They also found tomatoes and peppers in pots.

Harold: This is very disappointing. I hope the good stuff is in the pots up top.

Madge: Let’s ask the rabbits to check it out for us. They can jump up there and see.

Safe Wood and Other Plants For Rabbits

The next night, Pierre jumped up on the railing and had a look around. All he could see were herbs. Except, there was one particularly appetizing smell.

Pierre: Bad news, guys. There’s nothing really good up there. Oregano, sage, rosemary. Nothing that’s really going to appeal to anyone.

Harold: Well, rats.

Madge: I hope she finishes putting it in soon. At least we won’t have to worry about having a human out all the time.

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The human continued cleaning out the yard. The groundhogs weren’t really paying much attention. One Saturday, they woke up to loud noises a few feet from their nest. They looked out in horror.

Madge: Do something, Harold! She’s digging up right next to our porch! We’re going to lose all our privacy.

Harold: What do you want me to do about it?

Madge: I don’t know. We have to stop this.

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Later that day, they heard the humans discussing the work. They were very excited about how much “nicer” it looked and how much better it would be once all of the weeds were gone. The groundhogs decided it was time for a neighborhood meeting.

Harold: We wanted to get everyone together to discuss what’s going on in the neighborhood.

Sara Squirrel: You mean the humans’ “Beautification” project? It’s awful. They’re picking up all the sticks, digging out all the weeds, and cleaning up the sidewalks.

Roger Raccoon: Before we know it, the whole place is going to look like it belongs on the front of one of those sales brochures. Like it was when the humans first moved in.

Pierre: We can’t let that happen. What if this human decides to sell it? No one is ever going to be as easy to manipulate as she is.

Texas family wakes up to raccoon on bathroom sink - ABC7 New York

Roger: That’s true. She lets us pretty much run the place.

Harold: Maybe. But she’s destroying my peace of mind right now. She’s ruining the entrance to our home.

Priscilla Rabbit: She’s bringing in nasty plants too. I thought she had planted some fennel. Super yummy. But when I dug up the bulbs, it was only the plant, not the edible kind. Talk about rude.

Madge: A couple of cats have started hanging around too. You know the neighborhood won’t be safe anymore if they stick around.

Roger: We have to do something before we get beautified out of our happy homes.

Next Week: The animals’ plan and how it works out.