I have interacted with three separate (pretty sure about this) groundhogs today: large, medium, and small. It’s an invasion!
Large: Phat Basterd was lounging under the maple tree sampling some greens when I rounded the corner of the garage at about 1:00 today. He/she did the groundhog double take again and quickly waddled away to exit under the fence.
Phat Basterd: “Oh, shit!”
Me: “Really, dude?” Heavy on the sarcasm even though groundhogs don’t get it.
I just stood there- new thrift store bowling balls in hand-thinking, “Seriously? What is it going to take?” What it might take are two new swirly bowling balls that were only .90 cents apiece instead of the $6 that I paid for Joe. I now have a “Quentin” to go with Joe. Or it might take pee. I read that groundhogs don’t like human urine. Currently, working on a supply.
Medium: The medium sized groundhog and I had words twice this afternoon. First, I looked out to see him nom nom nomming my lettuce (I’m going to blame my inability to diet on groundhogs eating my lettuce.), and stepped out to watch him wiggle under the fence. When I bent over to re-position my clearly ineffectual groundhog blocker, he snorted at me from the other side of the fence! A GROUNDHOG SNORTED AT ME!
The cheeky bastard returned an hour later to tromp through my raised flowerbed and eat cone flowers. Those flowers are now wearing the cayenne pest keep away spray and I had Mexican for dinner.
Small: Maybe if my morning had started a little differently, I wouldn’t feel like Phat Basterd and Cheeky Bastard were intent on turning me in to a crazy person.
This morning, I went out to pick some basil for my eggs and put a dab of seed in the bird feeders. Bent over, I looked to the side and saw furry buttocks. Trying to make sense of what I was seeing, my brain finally processed that this was the tiny tail end (literally) of a wee baby groundhog. BBHog was wedged between the fence and the butterfly bush employing the “If I don’t move and my head is hidden then I can’t be seen” method. My cats use the same technique when we go to the v-e-t.
I peeled the butterfly bush back to check out BBHog. He was not much longer than the tip of my finger to my wrist and was frozen to the spot. I was inches away and he was not going anywhere. One voice in my brain was all about picking him up by the scruff like a kitten, but the other voice was all like “Kittens don’t have sharp rodent teeth.” As my sister suggested, I was probably going to get my face chewed off.
I took a chance that BBHog was not going anywhere and walked back in to the house to get a camera. BBHog had not moved when I returned.
Who could be mad at a punim like this even if it will grow up and eat 1 1/2 pounds of vegetation every day? I’m so annoyed at battling the groundhogs, but I can’t actively hurt them or any animal. I eat meat (yum!), wear leather (Hello, shoes!), and own taxidermy that wears its own taxidermy (Oh, W. Charles!), but I’m not the one actively killing those animals. Hypocrite? Sho’ nuff! I suppose someone else could have grabbed this little guy and “taken care of” him on the spot, ridding the world of one more varmint. Of course, I’ve got to wonder if that same someone would have treated a puppy or kitten that way as well.
Finally, BBHog got a move on, and I walked slowly behind him as he searched for an exit that worked. I felt bad about his panic. Eventually he came to my trashy bowling ball blockage and wiggled through,
Hopefully Phat Basterd will teach him better skills so we don’t have anymore Peter Rabbit versus Farmer McGregor moments.