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