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Spring Has Almost Sprung

Walking around my yard this weekend I noticed a lot of interesting things that led me to an exciting conclusion. The groundhog was wrong!

Besides seeing these daffodils poking through the ground the one thing that really convinced me that Punxsutawney Phil must have his wires crossed was that I saw his cousin WW3 this weekend. WW3, also known as Woodrow Woodchuck the Third, came out of his winter hole in my neighbor’s property and was wandering around our yards.

WW3 is the third generation of woodchuck that has tried to turn my vegetable garden into an all you can eat buffet. Because of this critter and its ancestors, I now maintain a careful watch of the fence perimeter around the garden, always on the lookout for any attempts to burrow underneath.

His grandmother, The Big W, who lived underneath my old tool shed, met an untimely death trying to cross a nearby road. I cheered when I saw the road kill but little peace was enjoyed by my tomatoes. The next generation swiftly dug in and resumed the war right where The Big W left off.

WW2 was a different type of chuck and brought the battle to the high seas. One day while I was at work, I received a call from my wife.

Closeup groundhog (Marmota monax)Image via Wikipedia

“There’s a beaver in the pool!” she yelled. I immediately knew she was talking about my nemesis, WW2. “I think it fell in and it can’t find the stairs to get out. It’s already done two laps.”

With victory in my grasp, I instructed her to, “Go get the pool net and hold him under the water. If you can do it, the carrots will write songs of your braveness for many seasons to come.”

“Are you out of your mind? I’m not going outside. Look, he finally figured it out and found the steps. He’s out now. “

“Curses.” I thought to myself. We were so close to ending this conflict and yet so far.

Fast-forward to 2009, almost a decade in and still the Woodrow family continues to give my vegetables nightmares.

And since I know my enemy well, I don’t think he would have come out of his hole unless spring was about to get sprung.

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  1. Red Icculus said...
    We have had our fair share of woodchucks and possums. I am not a cruel person, but I recommend tennis rackets. The physical reprimand is enough to chase it away from the pain, but not enough to kill the woodchuck.

    If all else fails, sonic emitters that plug into an electrical socket do wonders as well.
    Leora said...
    I think his relative ate all last summer's dill that I planted. I need to get one of those love traps. My neighbor caught eleven ground hogs with one trap.

    The ground seems too hard to plant peas. That's how my spring starts, when I get some peas under some soil.
    Parsec said...
    Spring has come earlier here in California, too. The daffodils are in full bloom right now, and today I saw some crocuses in a front yard. The wildflowers are just starting to bloom, but really just barely. Still need to wait a few weeks before things really take off, but the current wake-up was caused by 80-degree heat in January.
    Annie in Austin said...
    LOL at Whac-a-Marmot with tennis rackets and woodchucks doing laps in the pool, Anthony.

    We called them groundhogs in IL but haven't seen any in Texas, thank goodness - they're just digestive tracts wrapped in fur. If WW3 is up and about, something green must be sending out edible signals.

    Annie at the Transplantable Rose
    Anthony said...
    Hi Red,
    A tennis racket is a brave idea. I don't think I'd want to get that close to one of these things though. The sonic emitters is a great idea. I never though of using them outside.

    Hi Leora,
    We caught a squirrel in our attic with one of those traps. WW3 looks to be about 30 lbs though. We'd have to get the jumbo model to catch him.

    Hi Parsec,
    Yes, it's hard to tell what's going on with the weather now a days. Crazy weather seems like the new norm.

    Hi Annie,
    Yes, Groundhogs and Woodchucks are really the same animal. I think it's a regional thing where here in the Northeast we call them Woodchucks.

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