We have a thief in the garden

whistlepig

Strange things had been happening.  I had a volunteer cantaloupe plant that had 2 melons growing on it.  They were under bean plants and didn’t get a lot of sun, and one turned green and obviously wasn’t going to mature.  (Ha, I moved the other one into the sun and after another couple weeks, we ate it!) Then the immature green one disappeared……into thin air.

I had a few tomatoes still on a couple plants and was watching the tomatoes on them to see when they were ready to take off.  Some were low hanging.  Then a half ripe one disappeared…into thin air.  Starting to look like a pattern here.

The field and woods behind me is a big place with lots of (small, no lions or tigers or bears) wild life.  There is a groundhog who lives up there, which my kind hearted neighbors had trapped downtown and released near the woods, to save him from getting hit by a car in a busy downtown area. They named him Wilbur and he’s still up there and they feed him to keep him up there, hopefully.

But then Wilbur (or somebody else of the same build and species, fat, obviously has been eating well, etc.) started showing up down here every couple days.  Evenings, early mornings, out there somewhere was this big fat groundhog.

OK, groundhog, now I know who’s been stealing veggies from the garden, cos you’re hanging around down here a lot and it’s you!

Then a few days ago, my son and daughter in law were here and we discussed the groundhog and stolen veggies.  Then they told me they had discovered that one lives down here, under the garage! They have a spare tire propped up against the back wall. It’s not easy to see what might be behind it.

The garage is an Amish built building that has no foundation or concrete slab under it.  It sits up on many very sturdy, thick, weather treated boards. Once before we had a litter of kittens born under there from a feral mother, even tho the space to get into is small.

The space is small, unless you are a groundhog and want to make the space bigger, lol. I read an interesting article that their holes can be 6′ deep and 20′ long, with  several “rooms”, and always an escape route too.  He has an escape route, at the front of the garage, tho that’s not dug out as well the way the hole in the back is.

What a perfect home for him!  It’s quiet with little activity behind the garage. Seldom does anybody  but me go back there, and I only go a couple times a summer to get rid of some bigger weeds that pop up.  So nobody bothers him (her) and it’s easy to come up into the yard and make a quick dash over the low side part of the retaining wall to go to his hole if something scares him.

He can stay, cos there is no reason to disturb him since he isn’t disturbing anybody. And I need to admit, I did throw some tidbits over the retaining wall at his hole yesterday.  It looked to me like he ate some tomato trimmings and a couple pieces of cucumber, and left the couple leaves of Swiss chard for the bugs to eat.  I’ll need to pay attention to tomato cages next year and make sure the bottom parts of the tomato plants are protected, cos Wilbur is a thief!

Now there is the question of next spring, gender, territory etc.  Wilbur, up in the neighbors’ woods, could be Wilburina, and so could this one. We haven’t had a chance to give anybody any physicals.  They’re far enough apart so that if they are the same sex, there is good territory for both.  But if they’re of the opposite sex…..somebody might be having some baby whistle pigs, and then we could have baby Wilburs……..Wilburinas……

rodents

 

 

4 responses to “We have a thief in the garden

    • Does he have a passport tho? I don’t know, this thing is as big as he is, maybe he should stay home. 🙂 Thanks, tho. MaChatte sits at the back windows watching this very strange looking animal. She can see him when he comes onto the patio, where I put out squash seeds, which he likes a lot.

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