We prefer to call groundhogs groundhugs because they are so cute, unless you have a garden… They are also called woodchucks, as in “How much wood would a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood?” They actually are the largest members of the squirrel family, though they would prefer that squirrels be called a smaller member of the groundhug family. Like squirrels, they really do climb trees. We had one who spent the summer snoozing and enjoying the “air conditioning” in the branches of our male white mulberry tree on a cliff over the river. She hung out there until the last leaves were no longer tasty. It was amazing how she managed not to fall as she clung precariously at the very tips of the branches, seeking the last edible leaves.
(Drawing when she was still quite little, watching us watch her. Ears way too big)
We think she has a burrow hidden in the dense thorn bushes below the tree. A few days ago she ran across our deck, frantically trying to figure out what to do when heavy equipment started putting a new septic system near her winter burrow located under the neighbor’s garage.
Here’s a close up of the entrance to the den. It is just below the top of a riverside cliff, about 10 feet above the beach.
Close-up of tracks. Possibly hind feet.
Another close-up of tracks. Possibly front feet toward the top of photo. Next time you’re walking along a beach lined with eroding cliffs, watch for groundhug holes just below the cliff tops.
What animals you have been tracking recently? Please send me suggestions for a better blog name and don’t forget to share my blog with friends!