Nature takes care of things …

317Meet …. Nosey the woodchuck. Cute, huh?
He is just a baby and very adventurous. His curiosity during the past few days has had him swatting the flowers on the bleeding heart plants, trying to make friends with a red squirrel on the woodpile, knocking on the glass patio door, chewing flowers in the pots on the front porch, eating dirt out of old planters, laying in the grass eating clover, and trying to get mom to play.
Free nature entertainment … What’s not to love about all that?

Well … maybe the fact that they DIG! They dig tunnels everywhere. In most parts of the country they are also known as Groundhogs .. not sure why northern Minnesotan’s call them woodchucks because we are talking about world class diggers. According to Wikipedia, one woodchuck digging a burrow will move up to 35 cubic feet (700 lbs) of dirt. Their tunnels can be up to 45 ft long and 5 feet deep. In my yard, they have also moved some very big rocks! And, as cute as they look, they are notorious for being aggressive .. they have very sharp teeth and front claws that make me keep my distance.

Last year’s brood of 5 (yes, five) were very timid, stayed close to the opening of their burrow and only hissed at me when I came near that opening. This year, Nosey, is much more adventuresome than last year’s batch .. but, luckily, he runs and dives into the nearest entrance hole (4 that I know of) when he sees or hears me.

People have told me .. you need to get rid of them .. they are going to ruin your yard and do damage. So far, I have not had the heart to do anything except yell at them when they are eating my garden. I was fearing this might be the year that I would finally have to do something to get rid of them .. with 5 babies last year, I was expecting a population explosion this year (5×5= oh my!). Fortunately, this year, there are only appears to be Nosey and his mother. I don’t know where they all went or what happened to them over the winter. Guess, nature it taking care of things on it’s own …

UPDATE: Nosey is not so cute any more … just ate all the flowers and buds off every plant I had .. even the one right by the front door.

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~ by bearyweather on June 30, 2009.

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