Procrastinating prognosticator

PHOTO BY MATT BARTMANN Yellow-bellied marmot in the Roosevelt National Forest, Larimer County.

Early spring or 6 more weeks of winter? Don’t ask a marmot!

Instead of basking in the spotlight on February 2 like famed Punxsutawney Phil, the yellow-bellied marmot, our western relative of the groundhog, stays safely tucked away in its cozy hibernation quarters (probably watching “Groundhog Day”) until April or May, when it’s spring for sure.

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Hibernation is a survival strategy to get through winter, and yellow-bellied marmots spend about 7 months of the year—more than 60% of their lives!—snoring away.

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