It’s finally Groundhog Day, but Ohio University has one student who celebrates all year round. Em Knotts, a sophomore studying psychology, runs a popular Instagram account, @OU_Hogs, which features photos of OU’s resident groundhogs. People can DM Knotts photographs they see on campus and those photos are then shared for all groundhog enthusiasts to see. The Post sat down with Knotts for a Groundhog Day exclusive.
The Post: What inspired you to start the OU Hogs account?
Knotts: Well, last year, I lived in Treudley Hall and there was this one groundhog that lived near the entrance, and I named him Ernie. I would see him all the time and I was like, ‘This is kind of cool.’ I would take pictures of him and friends would, and then I realized I had so many pictures, I might as well make an account.
TP: What draws you to groundhogs?
Knotts: I just think they're cute, honestly. I see them around all the time.
TP: Do you have a favorite groundhog photo?
Knotts: I don't really have any in particular because there's so many, but I like the ones where they're like eating things. Recently there was one of them eating an apple and I thought it was really cute. Or when they're in funny poses and whatnot, I like that too.
TP: What do you enjoy about running the groundhog account?
Knotts: It's just fun. I didn't realize so many people would send me groundhogs. I didn't expect that many people to enjoy them like I do, and it's nice to see that. I think it's like almost 1,300 (followers) now, and I barely expected 1000 people to follow me.
TP: How are you celebrating Groundhog's Day? Are you doing anything special on the account?
Knotts: It's been a while, but I’ll draw a (ground) hog on my little whiteboard on my fridge. I was thinking about doing that, and I was gonna post like a ton of hogs.
TP: Do you have a favorite fun fact about groundhogs?
Knotts: I don't really know too many facts about groundhogs. I did at one point look up if you did have them as a pet and you can't, which is sad. I guess they need a lot of space and stuff to dig.
TP: If it were ethical to have them as a pet, would you want to have one?
Knotts: Yes. It’d be fun.
TP: If you were to name a groundhog, what would you name it? Would it be Ernie again or something different?
Knotts: That's a good question. Ernie would definitely be like a contender for the name. I would only give them a people name. I always think that's funny.
TP: Do you believe in the groundhog seeing its shadow idea?
Knotts: Kind of? I never really look into it that much. I don’t follow it, but it could be (true).
TP: Are you more Punxsutawney Phil or Buckeye Chuck?
Knotts: I’ll be on Phil’s side for this.
TP: Do you hope the groundhog says six more weeks of winter?
Knotts: I kind of hope spring comes soon because I don't like the cold that much. It’s hard walking to class.
TP: Have you seen the movie “Groundhog Day?”
Knotts: I have not, but my roommate actually got me a Pop figure of the character from the movie for Christmas. I do need to watch the movie though.
Happy Groundhogs Day from Knotts and The Post to all who celebrate.