I had SO much I wanted to accomplish this evening. Well, I did quite a lot. Just had too much planned, as usual.
Meanwhile, when I came home this afternoon, the resident marmot was loitering in the driveway. That's a woodchuck (or a woodcharlie for you, Chuck), or a groundhog, or a whistle-pig, Marmota monax!
It's the largest member of the ground squirrel family in eastern North America. Wild ones are generally under 10 pounds, but tame ones have been known to reach 30 pounds. So there, Hobbes! You still have him on stripey goodness.
The name comes from the Algonquin word for the animal, "wuchak."
I am happy to report that this one has moved to the lower level of the shed we took down, and has given up the burrow right by the house foundation.
They primarily eat grass and personal salad bars set up for them by caring humans who grow rows of luscious vegetables, just for that very purpose. But, they will also eat grubs, insects, snails, and other small animals. They don't make very good pets, even though they look cuddly. Their natural instinct is to attack first and see if you are friendly later. That said, they won't charge unless cornered, but they can give a dog a mean set of face wounds.
The funniest name for them is whistle-pig. They do whistle when alarmed.
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