Groundhogs! – aka Whistle Pigs

In support of my first “Adorable Animals” post about chipmunks, here is a 2nd “Adorable Animals” post about groundhogs!  Hubby and I learned on teh interwebs last week that groundhogs, aka woodchucks, are also called “whistle pigs” because when alarmed they emit a loud whistle – neat!  Our neighbor’s house abuts a field, and we often see a groundhog family eating together along the edge of the field.  Here’s some shots I took in 2012 from our front steps, with my zoom lens:

groundhog / whistle pig in our neighbor's yard        groundhog / whistle pig in our neighbor's yard

We were never able to get very close to them – they’d dive into their burrows when we tried.

Fast forward to this week:  construction on our deck began 3 weeks ago, and I had to move all my plants out of the back yard.  Which sucks, because we have a perfect stone wall to line with plants, and the plants kind of act as a privacy fence.  For the past 3 weeks the wall has been bare.  To add some action for the cats, I started tossing birdseed and [unsalted] peanuts along the top of the wall, and on the ground in front of the back door.  The response has been amazing!  Tons of birds, the squirrel, the chippie, and now the groundhogs have all come by to join the feast!  The cats go crazy, pressing their faces against the screen trying to get a better view.

The first groundhog came by at the end of last week.  He [she?] was VERY skittish – but I managed to catch one photo – you can see a peanut next to his shoulder:

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Every time Jim, I, or the cats tried to get a better look at him through the back door, he’d bolt out of the yard.  However, this weekend, we had a much less skittish groundhog come by – she was smaller, so maybe a juvenile?  We could stand and talk at the door, the cats could chatter at birds, and she just kept munching on seeds and peanuts.  Numnumnum!

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56f        56g

If you zoom in on the last picture, you can see a sparkle in her eye – so cute!  I know that one of their tunnels comes up under my neighbor Kathy’s front steps, and they eat her plants & vegetables… but asides from that, they’re adorable!

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