Saturday, February 02, 2008

Farm Photo 2/2/08: The Return Of Chucky


Happy Groundhog Day!

This is our resident woodchuck. Woodchucks are also called groundhogs, and when I woke up this morning for some reason I happened to remember that ,"It's Groundhog Day! And I have groundhog photos!"

We didn't see any sign of our woodchuck today which was perfectly fine with Joe, as he despises them with a passion that borders on obsessive—and hysterical. He has a valid reason for his hatred, which has to do with them building burrows out in the fields and cows falling into the burrow holes and breaking legs, but still.

When a forty-something, mostly sane man is standing at the living room window drinking his morning espresso and yelling, "CHUCKY! I SEE YOU OUT THERE WATCHING ME, YOU FURRY LITTLE BASTARD!" there's nothing you can do but try not to hurt yourself laughing.

There used to be a woodchuck living out in the hayfield. He could often be seen brazenly sunning himself in the grass in full view of The Shack, but never within a clear shot. He did this, according to Joe, for no other reason than to torment him. These staredowns between the two of them went on for years.

Then, thankfully, Chucky disappeared—until last November, which is when I took these photos. We were headed down to the barn to tuck in the sheep one afternoon and both spotted something moving in the small grassy pen adjacent to the barn.

"What the—"

"What was—"

And at the same moment we each realized who it was.

"IT'S CHUCKY!"


Home of the happy groundhog

And boy did Chucky have it good. He'd taken up residence under the stump of a fallen tree at the edge of the south facing hillside, building himself a burrow that included a downstairs residence, a covered porch, and an attached sun deck. It overlooked a beautiful, green, freshly seeded, high dollar expanse of what Joe soon started referring to as "his lawn."

Between his house and the lawn was a conveniently located fence which, while not entirely dog proof, did afford him an extra few seconds to dash into his burrow and escape any oncoming jaws of death. This had to be groundhog heaven on earth.

Chucky would spend each morning on his sunny lawn, rooting around with the squirrels and ignoring us unless I came too close with the camera. Then he would give us an evil stare and scurry into his house. Joe stayed remarkably calm during all this; he didn't even start toting a gun to the barn.

But when the donkey peddling cowboy and his dad were driving through one day and stopped their truck next to the pen then yelled, "Hey, Joe! Do you want us to shoot this woodchuck for you?" I quickly called out "NO! Thank you!" just in case.


Oh, Chucky! Where are you?

The morning sightings went on for about a week, and then Chucky again disappeared, though this time I think it was only into his burrow for winter. As I said, we didn't see any sign of him today, but if he did pop out in honor of Groundhog Day he most likely dashed right back into hiding.

Not only was the sun shining brightly, but there was snow all over his lawn. So I think we should all be safe (and sane) for at least another six weeks.

© FarmgirlFare.com, the furry foodie farm blog where woodland creatures sometimes run our lives and hunky farmguys always crack me up.

20 comments:

  1. The only person I know who wanted him to see his shadow is my granddaughter Lily. She wants it to get colder and snow. We used to have one snowfall each winter, but it has been about three years now without one.

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  2. NOOOOOOO. Please tell me he did not see his shadow.

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  3. Aaww, he's kinda cute in a furry animal sort of way. Here we have yellow-bellied marmots, or rockchucks, that make holes in farmers' pasture. I tend to like them, but that's pretty typical of me. My husband, on the other hand, grew up using them as the occasional shooting practice. Poor little fellas.

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  4. I always celebrate ground hog day with some pork sausage!

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  5. Im very behind the news today, did he see his shadow ?! I sure hope not, I want SPRING !!!!!
    I love your pics today, they are so cute :)Have a great weekend !
    Stephanie

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  6. What a cute creature. Would love to see one nosing around my garden, but they don't exist in the UK. They must cause fearful damage, though; those teeth were clearly not put there for decoration!

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  7. oh Noooooooo..... The return of Chucky!
    Great Pics!

    Carolyn

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  8. OMG! I about snorted my morning coffee out my nose at Joe yelling at Chucky through the window! That is so something I would do too!

    I like that Chucky gave you a tour of his lovely home. If and when he leaves for good, you can put a little *for sale* sign in front of it and be able to answer important questions from would-be occupants!

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  9. ah! i love it. chucky. the closest i've been to a woodchuck was flying by one on the highway in ct. and hoping the little bugger stayed to his side of the road. i'm jealous you get to see him every morning. happy new year!

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  10. Oh, how funny! A few years ago we had a neighborhood woodchuck that would show up in our backyard to graze at dusk. The kids named it Lumpy. Now that's in my small backyard, near the downtown of our mid-sized city...I'm sure Chucky has a much nicer home.

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  11. I've never seen a groundhog before, they don't exist around here.
    Thank you for the privilege of being able to see Chucky :)

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  12. Alanna's Dad2/03/2008 10:10 AM

    Excellent piece. Lots of good writers about these days. Guess they have always been there but now brought out by computers and the web. Seems I relate to most all the rural descriptive writing.

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  13. What a hilarious story! Men do get obsessive about the strangest things. Here it is moles. How DARE a mole mar the beauty of our lush expanse of lawn (NOT!) with its mounds of dirt? For pete's sake, we live in the country, and this isn't a golf course....

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  14. I know Chucky, we bought his old house. It was like a 1475 square foot cat litter box...we wore masks for the first month while we cleaned up Chucky-doo. Chucky was living in the stove vent so I closed it off with cement...sorry Chucky.

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  15. Sooo cute! I'd love to have such a neighbor!

    cheers,

    Rosa

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  16. Your husband's disdain for the woodchuck has made me laugh out loud-- and given me flashes of the movie "Caddyshack." (I know that was a gopher, but still...) Glad you've managed to spare the life of Punxatawney Phil's cousin so far. Keep up the interference.

    Chucky's a cutie.

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  17. The idea of Joe standing at the window and cursing at a woodchuck is giving me fits of laughter. :-P

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  18. Oh, I loved reading that post! The image of Joe yelling at Chucky will remain with me. :):)

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  19. I laughed out loud at your husband's rant and I LOVE your description of Chucky's luxurious accommodations. He must have had a great real estate agent to get him that find!

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  20. Oh, my gosh, poor Joe! Don't things like that tend to get the better of you and make you obsessed beyond reason? Besides, "Chucky" is a wonderful arch-enemy name.

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