A Sentiment

God knew what He was doing when He sent a gentle breeze and brought a lovely butterfly to set my heart at ease. The happiness of your friendship and the gentleness of your words have touched my life in special ways and now I feel assured. Thank you for your loyalty and for reading everyday. I only hope you find things to make a happy day.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

The One That Got Away


Driving into town yesterday, I saw a familiar little creature alongside the road. He was just minding his own business...busy as a beaver and oblivious to his surroundings. Of course, I didn't have my camera...(that's why he just sat there and posed) I hurried home and put the groceries on the counter..grabbed the camera, got in the car and took off down the road. I was going to capture this creature, if it was the last thing I did. We have one living back in the woods, but he is elusive and doesn't like his picture taken. When I got to the spot...wouldn't you know it...he was gone. Here's a little info on this interesting muncher.The groundhog, or woodchuck, is one of 14 species of marmots. These rodents live a feast-or-famine lifestyle and gorge themselves all summer to build up plentiful reserves of fat. After the first frost, they retreat to their underground burrows and snooze until spring, drawing their sustenance from body fat. While hibernating, the animal's heart rate plunges, and its body temperature is not much warmer than the temperature inside its burrow.Groundhog hibernation gave rise to the popular American custom of Groundhog Day, held on the second of February every year. Tradition dictates that if a groundhog sees its shadow that day, there will be six more weeks of winter, though such a prediction seems a sure bet over much of the groundhog's North American range.In the spring, females welcome a litter of perhaps a half dozen newborns, which stay with their mother for several months.Groundhogs are the largest members of the squirrel family. Though they are usually seen on the ground, they can climb trees and are also capable swimmers. These rodents frequent the areas where woodlands meet open spaces, like fields, roads, or streams. Here they eat grasses and plants as well as fruits and tree bark. Groundhogs are the bane of many a gardener. They can decimate a plot while voraciously feeding during the summer and fall seasons. We haven't had a problem with our resident rodent. He just eats and then retreats into his burrow in the railroad hillside. I didn't know that he is a member of the squirrel family. I had to go to the internet to get a picture of the one that got away.
Balisha

6 comments:

nancybond said...

They're quite common here in Nova Scotia, and cute as they are, they can also be quite testy if you get too close. Especially, I suppose, when they have young. I think they must be fairly intelligent -- Shubenacadie Sam's prediction on Feb 2nd certainly held true! ;)

Elenka said...

We have a have-a-heart trap for those critters. We (well my husband...) have lugged many of them far away from our garden, into the woods....hopefully not to anyone else's garden ! Then there's the time or two that we caught a skunk. Now that's another story.

Barbee' said...

Oh, yes! they can be problematic little rascals. We have over 20 holes in our bank. We've tried to fill them in as trappers live trapped the critters and relocated them. Of course, others just move in from the surrounding area so it's an ongoing battle. In Appalachia they are also called Whistle Pigs.

Balisha said...

I know that they can be really a problem...they haven't been here...YET!When they have their half dozen babies....I'll be wanting to send them somewhere too.

perennialgardener said...

I'm glad that's another creature I don't have to deal with in my garden. The squirrels are my only nuisance at the moment & sometimes my little terrier Spaz when she digs. ;)

Wsprsweetly Of Cottages said...

Oh, Balisha...that's the story of my life! :)