Since John isn’t able to post any of his backyard pics, here’s a picture of the monster who lives in my backyard. He likes to eat apples, baby rabbits and the toes of small children. The picture is blurry because I took it through a window and a screen with a long lens. Open thread.
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Looks a little purple on my monitor. So it must be a purple apple eater!
And speaking as the resident of a state where the natives are referred to as “woodchucks,” I can tell you that our Vermont variety is both larger and more prone to burrowing in inopportune places than most any other.
Stay away from that tail. They can whip that around at over 300 miles per hour and strike with the force of 3000 lbs per square inch.
Just keep him away from the wood or there will be no stopping him!
How much wood can a woodchuck chuck?
Now I’m going to have a non-musical ear worm all day:
How much wood would a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood?
LOL, yup, very much so.
@General Stuck: BTW, I thanked you for the delightful Charlie picture a few threads back but it was long after you put it up and you may have missed my gratitude. What a cutie he is!
Yes, I saw that, and sorry for not spelling your handle right. It was late, and I didn’t want to search for one of your previous comments to get it spelled correctly.
We had one of those a few years ago. The children enjoyed watching him systematically devour everything in our garden until our neighbor helped us out by dispatching the creature.
I’m on year two of a family of three living IN my garden. So, yeah. No garden. Husband tried shooting one of the adults last year and hit it but didn’t kill it, and I was amazed how much it bothered me that it was suffering considering how much money I spend on plants. The local deer has eaten the hosta to nubs, the squirrels are digging holes in the yard like crazy, the heat has killed the grass and the bugs that burrow into the roots and suck the life out of the plants have given me the worst summer for any kind of garden I can remember. I may do pavement next year.
The NY Times used a portion of its Sunday Review to have a former bulimic restaurant reviewer named Bruni explain to us how our insistence on magical cures to solve our economic crisis, including Keynesian Theory, won’t work. He was pretty well shouted down. But you probably saw that already.
How much ground would a ground hog hog…
@SiubhanDuinne: Now that the NFL season is approaching, I offer this:
Q: How much wood could Chuck Woodson chuck if Chuck Woodson would chuck wood.
A: All of it.
@Derelict: Inopportune places? Our woodchuck had his burrow about 15 feet away from the garden. Very opportune for him while the fun lasted.
My dog could take that lil bitch in a New York minute
@vtr: My theory on hiring Bruni for the op-ed pg; his job is to make Bobo and Chunky Bobo look better.
Nice Marmot, man.
I saw one in my back yard just yesterday, so fat and cute! just like a kitteh we all know and love.
Groundhogs (woodchucks) are afraid of their own shadows. They are superb scurriers too. They come and munch with birds under our feeder. Our cat has been trying to look like a woodchuck as a disguise to get closer to the birds..she’s the right color, not sure birds see color, and has the girth, but the birds haven’t been fooled yet
“Hey, you woodchucks! Stop chuckin’ my wood!”
We have one that lives in the railroad embankment behind our house. Every fall we watch him as he frantically gathers windfalls under our Northern Spy tree, along with everything else he can stuff in his mouth while running at top speed.
Woodchucks can be deadly to dogs, however. I’ve seen dogs foolish enough to attack a cornered woodchuck get pretty well cut up with those giant front teeth of their’s. They’re also hell on old, unmaintained cemeteries, where they undermine the stones, and create a real hazard for anyone walking through them. And they can destroy a garden in a single night. On the other hand, they provide homes for foxes and other animals who move into their burrows when the original occupants move on to greener pastures, so they’ve got that going for them…
No probs. I kinda like “Subdiane.”
LOL, very good.
Matthew Reid Krell
@SiubhanDuinne: Enough wood that a woodchuck would chuck wood if a woodchuck could chuck wood.
For the third time this week: empty the catbox into any denholes she has on your property and she’ll be gone for good.
July 4th is now Groundhog Day, because mine brought me two.
And left the second one on the kitchen floor for me to find when I got home from the supermarket.
@frogspawn: If you look at it from the dog’s POV, he(?) was getting you something nice for the holiday.
West of the Rockies (formerly Frank W.)
I live in northern California and have never seen a woodchuck before. (We’ve got opossums, beaver, racoons aplenty, otters, muskrats, and such.) In what region(s)of the country are these critters found? Have they attacked children before, or was that toe business strictly a joke?
I need Ron Paul help!
He’s coming to town (Fairfield, IA) Tuesday and I need ideas for a protest sign. Also, can anyone share some good links for Ron Paul information – and please assume that I am looking for information that debunks this clown’s pretensions towards credibility in ANY area other than asshattery – that I could copy and paste into a little homemade flyer to pass out? He (R. Paul the Elder) has a small but vocal following in the Transcendental Meditation community here in Fairfield (home of Maharishi International University) and I’d really like to counteract them as much as possible.
So – good, clean, snarky sign ideas and good anti-Paul, pro-rational web linkys.
Thanking The BalloonJuiciverse in advance…
@West of the Rockies (formerly Frank W.):
How much marmalade
Would a mad marmot mangle
If a mad marmot could
I have 4 groundhogs (at least) on a little more than an acre, and they haven’t been touching the large flower borders or the raised-bed vegetable garden. One has a burrow about 10 feet from the vegetable garden.
Guessing that the secret is to give the groundhogs a food alternative. Mow at 6 inches or higher, and not very often. Don’t apply any weedkiller – define the lawn as any plants that survive a high mowing every couple of weeks. Don’t mow all the way to the edge – let some weeds grow taller.
The groundhogs sit in the middle of the lawn, happily munching on clover and other tasty weeds, and they don’t bother the gardens. Maybe the mulch on the borders discourages them as well.
That’s no woodchuck. That there’s a whistle-pig.
She did seem awfully pleased with herself, as well as getting the hogs that ate the cucumbers.
The Preschool called
You’re behind on Rand’s tuition
Ah, I’ve got nothing. Paultes are immune to snark and irony, and his views are so bizarre as to not be believed when read. His son is the one who scares me, given he’s in the senate and Ron’s only in the house. Ultimately, he’s Ron’s fault.
“Son, let me tell you about who you’re named for” must be the most frightening bedtime story ever.
(sorry for the obscure usenet oracle joke. I’m probably the only one that remembers its glory days.)
@trollhattan: “How’s the racist magazine doing?” is a good one, since that tends to get under Unca Ron’s skin pretty badly.
Raven (formerly stuckinred)
MY movie of the Bohdi stalking a whistle pig with music by Spirit!
Fast forward to about 2:40 if you don;t like the wavy cam.
@Raven (formerly stuckinred): Your guys have a pretty good life!
We used to shoot them. Lot’s of them. They do quite a lot of damage to crops.
My longest shot was 317 yards. And I’m not kidding.
Back in my Indiana farmhand days, I dispatched a groundhog (who was eating just-sprouted soybeans) with my hiking boot. I was young, strong, fast, and probably stoned. But I’ll say this: the farmer treated me with a certain deference after that.
what, no Kain link?
here ill dooo eeet for you.
We are all neoliberals now.
@West of the Rockies (formerly Frank W.):
@Dilford: If I may make a recommendation*: just print this out large scale. Note that no county in Paul’s own district is red.
*Recommendation not valid in Montana.
How big is a woodchuck? Five pounds? Ten pounds? Twelve inches long without tail?
Living in the desert I have bunnies, quail, mice, and squirrels. Fifteen years ago when I built my house my dog and cats were young. By October of our first year there were no mice or squirrels. They couldn’t stay ahead of the bunny population but they did keep them away from the gardens. I planted about 150 shrubs and trees, most of which provide food for wild critters so I get very little damage except for the quail who ruin a few tomatoes every year but who cares? Last summer we had fun watching a big jackrabbit (actually a hare) nibble leaves on the bottom branches of shrubs.
“Wrong About Everything” seems about right for a Ron Paul sign.
The Oneidas would, and still do stretch there hides for water drum heads.
Proly cuz you was a-skeered a that vicious critter. [He-yuck he-yuck!]
I used to work in a band with a married couple. He liked to hunt, she couldn’t stand the thought of shooting Bambi. The compromise they reached was that he could hunt woodchucks. His line was: they’re destructive, they’re just overgrown rates, horses step into woodchuck holes and break their legs. Etc. So, woodchuck hunting was OK.
One day on the way to a gig somewhere in upstate New York we stopped to get a bite to eat. The place had a magazine rack, and some local magazine had a big close-up of a woodchuck on the cover.
Woodchucks, close up, are really cute.
The wife was still out by the car, and the guy says, “Quick, turn those around! If she sees them I’ll never be able to hunt again!”.
So, there we were, at some roadside joint in upstate, scrambling to flip a bunch of magazines over.
I think we got them all, the wife never saw the cute woodchuck picture, and my buddy continued to be allowed to cut a murderous swath through the woodchuck population of the greater northeast.
How the heck do you even see a woodchuck at 317 yards? Were you sitting there with binoculars looking for targets? And was that a par 4?
@Constance: @different church-lady:
It was in a soybean field behind my house and a place where I knew they hung out.
As long as the crops aren’t too high it’s pretty easy to see them even further away. Though 400 yards is pretty much the furthest shot with any chance of success.
I used a 9 power scope on a 243 caliber rifle. It truly was one hell of a long shot. I couldn’t believe I had hit it.
Most are 5 to 10 lbs. Biggest ones maybe get to 25 lbs.
And most are a foot and a half to two feet long not counting a short 4 to 6 inch tail.
You think they are cute until they eat every goldarned thing in the garden down to the nub. Then you go out and get fencing and pour stuff down their den holes and put fox urine crystals ($15 at the garden center) around the garden and you replant, because it’s late June and SOME stuff will make it. And for about 2 weeks everything’s fine, until the little buggers figure out how to get inside the fence. Then they eat everything in the garden down to the nub again.
And then you realize it’s you (and your family) or them.
May I recommend spent charcoal briquette ashes mixed with a skosh of lighter fluid down the hole? Only thing is, make sure the den is down wind of your patio cuz dead ground hog sure does stink.
I once lived in an old farmhouse with a cabinet next to the bathtub that had bare ground (dirt) floor.
I kept hearing scratching and clawing and other sounds several times a day for several weeks. It sounded like something was in the cabinet. I”d try to tip toe into the bathroom and open the cabinet door to see if I could see what was in there.
One day it happened. I hear something, quietly sneaked in, and hurriedly open the cabinet door. I was face to face with a woodchuck. Our faces were literally one foot apart. I slammed the door so hard that I broke it.
And the dog later got that guy. Looking back on it my goodness that dog killed a lot of animals. RIP Sadie.
hint, though they are a bit greasy they are tasty when grilled over an open fire.
The woodchuck is kind of adorable.
Nobody taught our dogs how to kill woodchucks/groundhogs, but they figured it out themselves when they grew up. Since then, nibbling on our plants has declined.
The groundhog population in the woods outside our garden is high enough that enterprising — or desperate, or just stupid — groundhogs take up residence inside the fence every few weeks. The dogs start stalking them…and since the defining characteristic of the groundhog is that it is stupid (even if enterprising or desperate), the dogs get it after a week or so. So far, without bringing one inside though the doggie door, thank Heavens, though the last one was missing its head as one dog proudly did a victory lap around the yard.
We have enjoyed watching groundhogs scurry furtively about our yard for years—-we had already given up vegetable gardening because of all the deer.
But to our great horror we have found out that skunks can displace groundhogs and use their pre-built dens and tunnels. So you may want to discourage groundhogs from building around your property just to avoid having skunks live in your yard. Groundhogs are much easier to get rid of than skunks!
@General Stuck: If a woodchuck could chuck wood?
Paul in KY
I’d say you may need the Holy Hand Grenade of Antioch to deal with that beastie!
Paul in KY
@Constance: An old male could be 24 inches long & weigh 20 or more pounds. That would be a big one. Average is about 16″ and 10 or 12 pounds.
The young ones taste better than the old ones.
I thought that they are vegetarians- related to the squirrel. I have seen one climb a tree pretty fast…