Arthur has a bit of excitement

Arthur and I were hanging around the kitchen after breakfast this morning. Arthur was at his post by the side door monitoring the garden outside and I was still at the kitchen table when a little motion from outside near our deck caught my eye. I saw a little black nose attached to a small gray-brown head that was poking itself up through my deck railing right above the space where we’ve housed a family of groundhogs in the past.

Before I could react, the little critter, groundhog I think, made its way up onto our deck. That’s when Arthur noticed it too.

Then all heck broke loose. Arthur started barking. I ran for my camera which somehow rarely manages to be in the right room at the right time.

When I returned with camera in hand, the little critter was gone. I hurried into the adjacent laundry room, Arthur at my heels, but didn’t see anything from that window either. I didn’t see which way it went, and Arthur wasn’t talking.

“It’s gone,” I told Arthur.

A few minutes later the little wild critter came walking along the deck from the back of our house where Mark grows two tomato plants in pots. Need I say more?

The groundhog, I think, was taking its time sauntering back off the deck the way it had entered. That’s when I caught the photo and evidence of at least one of our produce thieves.

01-Groundhog-2013-07-18-05

He walked down through the St. Francis garden and out into the woods. When he was out of Arthur’s boundaries and reach, I let the little dog, who could hardly contain himself, outside. Arthur did his thing of sniffing, finding a trail and nosing around for a few minutes while I investigated the tomato plants. I didn’t see any tomatoes, but that doesn’t mean much. Mark might have gotten them all earlier.

I heard a loud rustling sound and looked down by the creek where the ground hog was tearing across the bottom of the yard and then jumped down the creek bank. Arthur somehow may have rustled him out, although I don’t know how. Arthur was up by the back of the house and the groundhog was down by the creek. It might have been a diversionary tactic to get Arthur away from the nesting space under our deck.

Nature can be exciting.

Arthur agrees.

I am adding an addendum to this post to correct the identity of the wild animal pictured above. I have been informed that it looks like a baby beaver, and I have to agree. At the time I saw it, I didn’t think it looked exactly like a groundhog, but I wasn’t sure what else it could be. I was worried it might be a big rat, but it’s tail was too broad. The thought of a beaver never crossed my mind. You can see a diagram of a beaver in the link graciously provided by Teepee 12 in the comments below.

~~~~~

In case you missed them, here are earlier posts about the groundhogs that sometimes share our abode.

Are groundhogs vicious—or is my nosy little dog safe?
I shot the groundhogs—twice
The groundhog saga continues
I saw a baby groundhog

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33 thoughts on “Arthur has a bit of excitement”

  1. oh that wascally wascal! When I saw a couple lines of text with the picture in my email, I thought it was a beaver! And wondered what the heck was going on that a beaver would come close to the house. Groundhogs, cute from a distance. We’ve been visited by raccoons the past couple of weeks. They leave bits of evidence behind that they’ve come by during the night. Like when my sweetie forgot to secure the garbage. oy vey.

    1. I thought it looked a little like a beaver at first too. Then I was afraid maybe it was a rat. It’s legs seemed kind of long for a groundhog, but I believe that is what it was.

      Yes. Raccoons can be pretty pesky. We’ve had those stay for a night or two as well.

  2. “Arthur agrees” – love that 🙂

    Loved this little moment. I’ve always been curious what groundhogs actually ARE. It was good to see a picture.

    I love Arthur!

    1. If it knew what a scaredy cat Arthur is, it wouldn’t have been concerned about him even if it was within his range. (Don’t tell Arthur I said that. He thinks he is quite ferocious.)

    1. I’m not sure. I wondered myself, because I thought the tail looked a little like a beaver, and it didn’t look quite the same as other groundhogs we’ve seen. In fact, I wondered if it might be a rat because it’s legs seemed longer. I just assumed it was a groundhog. Maybe I should look up pictures of beavers.

      1. You’ve got a stream nearby. You said he went BACK into the water. That’s what made me say ”wait a minute … groundhogs don’t do water … and that tail isn’t a groundhog tail.” Maybe the beavers have found you. They’ve been spreading like crazy since we stopped hunting them. Look around for evidence of dammed up water. They just LOVE blocking free running streams and turning the to swamp. That’s what they live for 🙂

  3. I don’t remember ground hogs having a tail, and when I saw that one, beaver came to mind. Could this be the reason your tree was down? Or was that in a different area?

  4. I just wanted to ask you where you are, not out of simple nosiness but because I think you aren’t very far from us. If the beavers have found their way to you, I doubt it will be long before they find they way back to the Valley where they once lived, but were chased away by industrialization and hunting. There are endless rivers, streams, creeks and old canals here and plenty of woodland. Ideal for beaver. The only animals that hunt them are bears and we don’t have them … yet. It sure would change the ecology around here.

    1. I’m not sure where you are, but we live just north of Cincinnati, Ohio. And now that you’ve mentioned beavers, I realized that they already are in our general area. I did a post about them at the VOA park recently. Bot there is a lake there. All we have here is a trickle down run off stream unless heavy rains cause it to swell.

  5. See what I mean Christine… the variety of your wildlife in your own back yard is AMAZING!.. so loved my visit with your this evening my friend.. It was good to catch up with some of your posts, and I will try to get around to visiting you sooner…. xxx
    Sending you love.. and Keep on Smiling… xxx Hugs
    Sue x

    1. Thanks for stopping by Susan. We do enjoy the nature here, although sometimes it can be creepy, and sometimes it can be annoying when tomatoes are involved.

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