Archive for the ‘Mammals’ Category

They’re Back

The groundhogs are back … at least the male is.

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 My husband saw it a few minutes ago, relatively close to the barn. I don’t think the four young ones are big enough to be on their own yet.

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So, it will be interesting to see who all returns … or if this one doesn’t stay.

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Moth Mullein

This is my last groundhog blog. They moved out sometime yesterday afternoon. There’s two of the few pictures I took of them yesterday morning at the end of this blog.

I’ve been taking ground hog pictures several times a day, since the first of May.

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During this time there’s been a plant in my line vision that was often between me and the groundhogs. I thought it was a moth mullein (Verbascum blattaria), but wasn’t sure. Two of them grow beside the moon garden, the only two in the yard.

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They have finally started blooming.

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The flowers are absolutely beautiful inside, with so many colors to attract the insects.

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They have such a tall inflorescence, that they will bloom for a while. Luckily, the groundhogs don’t show any interest in them.

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I was working on this blog, looked out the window and there was a young groundhog.

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It went back under the barn, and one of the adults came partially out, probably  to see of I was still around.


Both of these pictures were taken at noon yestererday.

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As you can tell, they were growing like “kids” do.

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And they liked to play.

They will be missed.

A Long Strong Storm

We had a strong storm today that lasted from 10:30 till 1:30

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There was heavy rain and a lot of thunder. The thunder actually last at least three hours after the storm ended. Light rain continued too.

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The young ground hogs didn’t seem to mind the weather. It was probably fun.

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This one kept me laughing. It was under the bench for the picnic table out of the rain, munching away.

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It looked around before

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joining the others out in the yard. It was still raining relatively hard.

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I wonder if this one was surveying its domain.

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This is the adult. I don’t know if it saw me or not. It took off for the barn as fast as it could go.

 

Busy Little Groundhogs

It’s hard to get work done with the four young groundhogs becoming more active every day.

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It’s hard to get all four in the same picture. They’re all so active.

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They can see me move, even with me 40 yards away in the house.

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I wonder what holds their attention?

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Of course there’s rabbits, squirrels, and birds to watch in the backyard.

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I think this picture is just precious.

 

Ground Hog Family

The pair of ground hogs moved under the barn early this year. They apparently got there before the foxes, or the foxes had another den and weren’t interested.

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This is one of the parents. Maybe it was taking a break from the little ones. It did this at least once a day.

What really gets me is how easily they see me in the computer room. I have to sneak into the chair. My husband says it’s 40 yards from the computer down to where their den is. (From the corner of the barn, to where the wood touches the ground.) Even the little ones see the slightest movement, and they run for the barn as fast as their little legs can go. They’re so close to the ground when they run.

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Then one day, I saw a little head, and then another and another. There’s two in this picture and

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two in this picture too.

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I think I got caught taking this picture.

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There’s a lot more to look at.

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There’re two of the four young ones in this picture.

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I used to have a pretty good size summer wildflower. It turned to a weed patch with lots of sprouting trees and thorny bushes. Two weeks ago, my husband spent three days cutting out all the dense growth. I plan to sow grass soon.

This young one’s running for one of the tunnels.

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The interesting thing was the four underground dens the groundhogs had in the weed patch. The one above was by far the largest. It won’t be long and they’ll be like little lawn mowers in our backyard.

Living Lawnmower

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   Our first storm of the day passed through about about 8:30 this morning, Another’s to come through before lunch.

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Two groundhogs live under our barn — a parent and a young one.

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The rain didn’t seem to bother this young one.

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It moved along, from one tasty morsel to the next.

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It must finally be full.

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It took a little time to rest before it went back under barn.

Fox Update

I haven’t smelled the scent foxes use as an deterrent for Buffy and/or me. We went out before supper, walked around, even close to the barn, and no strong fox scent.

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These three pictures were taken last year. I’m hoping they return next month. They breed late January into early February. Gestation lasts 51 days.

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So, my fingers are crossed that they return before the young are born in late March or early April.

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There’s an old strip pit behind our house and it goes east for two miles or so. The road makes two right angle turns before it straightens out. There’s a house on the corner. Late last summer I would see the young foxes out playing when I was on my way to Ingram Hill.

So, I figure they have a den back there too … and maybe that’s where they are now. The den that they rear the young in is usually deeper than the temporary retreats.

So, I plan to keep my fingers crossed and keep a watch out for them. I will know they’re back if I see them or if I smell the strong scent they use as a deterrent to intruders.