Okay, this post isn’t about Elisa. Instead, I thought you’d like to hear about our nearest neighbors, the Woodchuck families.
We moved into our current house in August of 2006. As that summer ended and fall began we noticed that two woodchucks (aka ground hogs — but don’t fall into my mistake of calling them “ground chucks,” apparently that sounds too much like an alternative name for hamburger) would wander around around yard eating grass and occassionaly playing in the sun. As neighbors, though, they weren’t all that friendly — any time that we would go out to say “HI,” they’d take off and disappear into their home.
They weren’t any more friendly in 2007. It did seem as though they felt the welcoming nature of our presence — there were a few more of the critters hanging around. They didn’t add any tunnels that we noticed and they didn’t eat any of things we planted outside.
The relationship changed in 2008. It went from, “Oh, aren’t they cute” to “What will they do next?!?” It seems the Woodchurcks either invited all their friends into our lawn or told their kids, “You’ve got to leave our burrows and make your own.” Either way, we ended up with new holes in the lawn — and they moved in under our new shed. They also felt free to eat all of the flowers from my one-plant garden (my lima plant never had a chance). I think we have three different families living in our yard now.
They should all be going to sleep for the winter very soon. I think that as 2009 thaws and they wake up, I’ll encourage them to find new neighbors — while the Woodchucks aren’t horrible neighbors, they’ve shown a willingness to pillage and multiply that keeps them from being good neighbors.