Friday, February 3, 2017

Don't eat our marmots...

...but of course you can eat groundhogs. Dan was interviewed by Extra Crispy (Time magazine's food newsletter/blog) about eating groundhogs for a groundhog day article.

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Why Groundhog Day is a day to celebrate science

Dan was invited by Zocalo Public Square and the Smithsonian to write an essay celebrating science on the most unscientific of holidays--Groundhog Day!  Have a look and Happy Groundhog Day.

Friday, January 27, 2017

Jammin' marmots

The French love their marmots!  Here's a set of music playing marmots!

A Groundhog Day Lesson About Fake News

Marmots face similar problems we face when it comes to finding reliable sources of information.  Dan blogged about this in the Huffington Post as something we can learn from Groundhogs as we celebrate Groundhog Day.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Marmot abuse in verse

RMBL has been doing a lot of art-science fusion recently and this year there's a semi-regular poetry slam.  The other week Drew Freed threw down a lovely (but, a'hem, mis-guided) poem about the golden-mantled ground squirrels that live here and are also the subject of study.  To set the record straight, squirrels LOVE marmots--they listen to and respond to their alarm calls and they don't eat the same foods so that there's no love lost between them.

Here's Drew's poem.

Thoughts from a Ground Squirrel
By Drew Freed

Psh, you humans, where is the love?
We all know that RMBL’s marmot biased enough
Maybe the perception that you get from above
Makes you forget the little guys and it’s tough
Marmot posters here, marmot t-shirts there
But mention ground squirrels, nobody even cares
The lesser known Sciuridae
Is takin’ the spotlight today
This dis will make the marmots pay
It’s a full on war I say!
Let’s start:
You’re a fat, ugly, lazy squirrel
Just a squeakin’ yellow-bellied terrified little girl
And this next one might send marmoteers into shocks
But you can’t even protect your pups from one mangy fox!?
Oooh, did I hit a soft spot, too soon?
Well it wouldn’t be a problem if you weren’t a buffoon
And I get it, when people see you, they all say aww
But everything I do is cute, and I don’t take a day off
You like to get a rock and lay around
Or spend time sleeping underground
But my day is spent collecting nuts
And berries, insects, avoiding hawks
We stuff our cheeks before our guts
Run on all fours while you sit on your butts
You like to eat our dandelions, steal our food!?
No wonder the marmots put me in a bad mood
And for all that belly, what you got to show?
Your alarm call is weak, that chirp everybody knows
But enough about the marmots, that contest I put to rest
When it comes to glorified groundhogs, RMBL is obsessed
Sorry if I offended, got that off my furry chest

But if you’re talkin’ squirrels, better believe I’m the best.

Monday, July 11, 2016

Pups on the move!

We are fully engaged in pup season and not only are we trying to catch litters emerging up and down the valley, we're also being foiled by the mothers--who sometimes move litters before we can catch them.  It's pretty funny when we see this happening but we don't see it a lot.

In town the other day the squirrel folks stumbled on Stitches moving her litter of 4 across the road and were able to get photos of the process. Apparently, Stitches looked both ways before crossing the road...and, as the photo below shows, she was able to GALLOP across the road!  Who knew?

Thanks to Jackie Aliperti for the photo!