Monday, June 21, 2010

Backyard Critters

We live in the historic district of an old town outside of Philadelphia.  Most of the residential lots around here are nicely sized, however, ours is pretty big (by borough standards) at over one acre.  I realize that with this large expanse of yard, we will have small animals crossing through it from time to time.  And, coming from a heavily populated area of Southern California (with minimal wildlife running through the average backyard), I really enjoy seeing some of the Pennsylvania critters from my office window.

Our regular backyard visitors include Robins, Blue Jays, Cardinals, and a couple varieties of Woodpecker...




Of course, we regularly spot wild Rabbits...


And, the most popular guy in the backyard is the Squirrel.  We have a ton of walnut trees, so it's basically an all-you-can-eat buffet back there.


I will often see some of the neighborhood cats crossing through the yard, and one time while removing the side yard, we spotted a mole! 

Then last week, as I was sitting at my computer, I watched a very slow moving animal walking through the grass...  I looked closer and noticed that it was a turtle! 


I was able to run out a snap a couple of pictures.  After all, he doesn't move very fast...



I'm cool with all of these guys (squirrels, bunnies, turtles, birds) running in and out of the yard.  But, I draw the line with this fatty...


I saw him this morning, scoping out the place.  He is a giant and hardly afraid of meI tried to scare him away like a crazy woman and when that didn't work, we just stared eachother down for awhile.  He even stood up to get a better look at me.  The arrogance!  I want him out of here.  Like, today.



I did some research on Groundhogs to reveal some disturbing facts:
  • Major damage [from Groundhogs] comes from structural damage. Groundhogs burrow, digging extensive tunnels underground. If they build tunnels under driveways, foundations, sidewalks, and other places, it can cause the structure to crack or give way. Any of these damages can be expensive to fix.
  • Groundhogs have been known to inflict severe wounds to pets.
  • They are vegetarians, and can wipe out a garden in a very short time. They will also consume many ornamental flowers and plants.
  • They dig numerous dens which provide homes for many other types of wild animals.
And did I mention that they are huge?  Like the size of a small dog? 

So, what do you guys do to manage the Groundhogs?  Any Midwesterners or East Coasters out there with some good advice?


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UPDATE:

Add this guy to the list!



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3 comments:

Amanda Bevington said...

You are hilarious Kelly! Go get that little guy!!!

Bryn said...

So funny you posted this! I saw my very first blue jay today... it was so beautiful I stopped and watched it for a bit.

Gina said...

OMG Kelly, I'm laughing so hard reading this!

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