Mary confronted this critter in the garden, whereupon it fled into the compost bin:
Groundhog in the compost bin – front
She barricaded it with spare tomato cages across the bin’s entrance, I wedged an aluminum sheet behind the cages, and we got the stinkeye for our efforts:
Groundhog in the compost bin – left
I deployed the hose, watered it for a few minutes, and we left it to consider its options. Groundhogs are pretty much waterproof, but we hoped the wetdown would be sufficiently unpleasant to mark the garden as “Here be dragons” in its mental map.
After an hour, it had vanished. We know from past experience that groundhogs can climb up-and-over the chain link fence surrounding the compost bin (it was a dog pen for the previous owners), although it knocked down the aluminum sheet and may have exited through the garden.
It looks well-fed and ready for winter.
Searching for groundhog will reveal previous encounters with its ancestors & relatives.
Our new back-yard groundhog made extensive renovations and improved the landscaping before moving into the unoccupied burrow against the garage wall:
Groundhog at garage burrow – cobbles
It seems the same architect designed this project:
Cobbled walk – 37 Fairmont Ave
I cannot explain the post in the middle of the walk; perhaps they’ll remove it when everything’s finished.
The top photo is through three layers of 1950s glass. I cropped the bottom one from a helmet camera image.
Looks like I’m getting the stinkeye:
Groundhog being suspicious
The extensive garden armor remains effective, although we know groundhogs can run straight up a chain-link fence when given sufficient motivation. They generally give up after encountering the galvanized chickenwire around the buried concrete blocks; the garden is just to the left of the picture.
The front-yard groundhog suffered a fatal automobile accident shortly after it finished excavating its burrow against the front foundation. This critter may have moved into the abandoned summer home near the garage at the back of the house.
This critter may have a burrow under the stand of decorative grass beside the front door:
Groundhog – front
Mary lets it eat all the weeds it wants and, oddly, it seems to prefer broad-leaf greenery to what little grass remains in the front lawn.
Taken with the DSC-H5 through two layers of wavy 1955-era glass from the living room.
This might have had something to do with my email and followup from the Dutchess BPAC leader, all with absolutely no feedback:
Overgrowth/Rt 376 SB – cropped overgrowth – 2016-10
To judge from the shattered stems lining the route, NYSDOT positioned an articulated rotary mower vertically and ran it along the guide rail, cutting the Japanese knotweed more-or-less flush with the rail, then cleaning up most of the debris. Absent glyphosate treatment, the bushes will return in full force next summer.
Even though the disintegrating pavement isn’t any more rideable than before, not having weeds brush our elbows and grab for our eyes makes for a much more comfortable riding experience; now, we’re set for the peak Halloween-to-Groundhog-Day riding season.
As NYSDOT says: “Maintaining roads goes far beyond the edge of the pavement.“
The new Cooper’s Hawk siblings recently explored our front yard:
New Coopers Hawks – siblings
When they’re bigger, they’ll perch in treetops, but a new hawk’s got to know its limitations:
New Coopers Hawks – master of the stump
When you see something, pounce on it:
New Coopers Hawks – pouncing
Practice makes perfect:
New Coopers Hawks – tall pounce
Eventually, you’ll catch something in those mighty talons:
New Coopers Hawks – capturing something
Which looks like the wily and elusive snail:
New Coopers Hawks – practice prey
Everybody wants to stand on the bird box, but a majestic takeoff requires more practice than you might think:
New Coopers Hawks – bird box takeoff whoops
They’re now capturing their own food and don’t share their prizes.
They’re welcome to all the chipmunks / moles / voles / groundhogs / deer / whatever they can take!
Our neighbor’s back yard features an unkempt apple tree about 3 feet from the fence that must be 40 feet high by now. It grows Macintosh-style fruit and drops half of them into our yard. Most land in the garden, some land in the yard, a few bounce off his plastic storage shed with resounding bonks, and every critter out there loves them. Mary makes applesauce from the best of the harvest and tosses the rest far away to keep the wasps out of her veggies.
The chipmunks and groundhogs have a belly-busting good time:
Chipmunk with apple
The deer, of course, eat ’em like candy, another reason for clearing the garden.