Monday, September 14, 2009

Groundhogs Unlimited

The Groundhog, also known as a Woodchuck is a member
of the squirrel family....yep, ground squirrels known as marmots..
Hard to believe isn't it?

'Nobody picks on a strong man"
That was a quote by Charles Atlas.
This picture made me think of him and I named it
"Chuck Atlas"
Why? because on his
emergence from the darkness to the sunlight this
groundhog thinks he can 'move the mountain'
and push over the shed....

Finding out quickly that he could not...

He decides to explore the yard.

Groundhogs weigh between 4 and 14 pounds and are
stocky built

They are very cautious.. because I have a dog and watch
carefully before coming out into the yard.

They eat a broad range of vegetation... and can wipe out your
garden in one day if you don't fence it. For this reason they
are not welcome in most peoples' yards.

Meanwhile out back the adults are playing
a different game.

sniff sniff...naughty I say.. Or is this how they know
who they are?

Awwww must be a girl and boy thing... When I saw this
I thought of 'muskrat love'... these fellas look alot like
the muskrat except for the tails.

These two pal around together... eating bird seed and corn
that I put out for the birds.

Don't stick your tongue out at me! This is what I do..take
your picture and put in on my blog. Hey! You could be a star.

I get up one morning and look out my dining room window
expecting to see a bird or two...and Surprise!! Hey! How
did you get up there?
This feeder is usually loaded with grapes and oranges
and it's even with my windows...

From the outside you can see it's about 5 feet off the ground.
Yes, groundhogs can climb and will for a free meal. I get ready
and watch and wait.... I want to see this creature climb up this

Here he comes through the yard.

and foot over foot... up he goes.. no problem

He looks really big up there on top of the feeder checking
out the fruit.
I shouldn't have been surprised to see him eat oranges...

Last year he ate apples under the tree as they fell on the ground

Starting in early summer and running through fall

until about mid October the groundhog puts on a heavy
layer of fat....
This will sustain as he hibernates from October until
he emerges in February.

I fill this little Cheshire cat full of corn and the
groundhog loves it... I can get many portraits

He becomes a ham and smiles just like the cat...

He welcomes a friend .. sharing the corn

A groundhog is also called a whistle pig. because they
stand straight up and whistle to sound the alarm of
danger. I'm sure you've gone by a field and seen
one standing there like a sentry.

They are active by day, especially early morning and
late afternoon. They seem to love a sunny day.

The birds are not intimidated by him... and feed
together. They live 2 to 6 years in the wild and
dogs and humans are their worst enemies.

I think he is blending in by trying to be one of the
statues in my garden...

'If I stand still she won't notice I am real" What a fun
animal to observe.

This was my summer in 'groundhog' days.

To God be The Glory ~~ Great Things he Hath Done


Marsha said...

You have actually made him look pretty darn cute in these photos - great captures! Don't they do a lot of damage there when they tunnel under buildings, etc? My DD just had part of her driveway collapse from a tunnel underneath it. I can't believe they are so brave to use that feeder so close to the windows either. This was a fun post ;)

JKoenig said...

Wow! I guess I shouldn't get so upset with the squirrels, racoons and chipmunks in my feeders. We used to have a groundhog that lived at the bottom of our hill but I haven't seen him in quite a while, but often I see their large holes at the bottom of the hill when I have taken walks in our valley.

It was such a cute blog and informative too.

Have a happy day!

Lynne at Hasty Brook said...

This was a cute and fun post. I know most folks don't like to see them but really, they are pretty little animals. Love the smile you captured!

HANNIBAL said...

He is a cutie! It is awesome that you let him/her eat in your yard without harm. I can't imagine your feed bill with all of that fruit!

jalynn01 said...

Marsha: That very same thing happened to my brother..He had to shoot the thing. He tunneled under his sidewalk and driveway and it collapsed. So far none of the ones that frequent my yard and live under my buildings have caused any real damage. I did find a hole by my foundation that was huge this Spring. I live next to a huge field and I think they tunnel up there for hibernation and stay away from the yard.

Hannabal: This was the first year I noticed them in and under the bird feeders. They love sunflower seeds and fruit...and you are right that does get expensive but I love to look out and see the different birds and animals there, so it's worth it.

Beth said...

I know they are considered garden pests, but what cutie pies. Such innocent chubby faces.


Bird Girl said...

That first picture is so cute - love the yellow flowers and that crazy groundhog against the shed :-)
I still can't believe the little chubby thing is able to get up on that bird feeder!!! It is so tall - I guess where there is a will there is a way - haha! So cute!

Tina said...

These are some big ground hogs and you're so nice to feed them all that fruit and seed. I know most people think they need to be done away with..but I find them fun to long as they aren't destroying my garden I'm okay with them being around..they do tunnel and I have fallen thru to the bottom of their tunnel while cutting grass when I was a kid..
This was a cute post, J! Enjoyed the read and the photos!

Razzberry Corner said...

Jalynn - I love this post - I have been looking forward to it since you mentioned to me you were doing a groundhog series! You really showed the personality of the groundhog. We have a few of them, and I love to watch them, they are so funny! In a past house we used to have them climb up on our back deck railing & walk the entire railing - I was always afraid they'd fall off because they are so fat, but amazingly, they seem to be agile. I love the smile photos, they are adorable! Thanks for making me smile! -Lynn

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