HI! I’m Wilbur. I’m a groundhog from southern Pennsylvania. I lived in a small forested area for a while, but last fall I moved to a subterranean apartment den under a garage near where some humans live. I had to do some work on the apartment: needed to dig down under the building, between two of the sturdy wooden supports that the building sits up on. That was easy work for me tho, cos we’re good diggers. Once I had decided to stay here longer term, cos there was good stuff to eat around here and it was getting colder, I dug it deeper, so I’ll have a nice cozy place to hibernate. I don’t think the humans put that round thing there for me, but I decided to take advantage of it for some cover.
The humans seem to be outside of their dens a good bit and I’ve gotten used to that, but I don’t trust them so I always run to my place of safety when I see them coming near my den. In my picture above, I can sit on the short part of that retaining wall and observe what they’re doing, and decide whether I need to jump down and go right to my hole if they’re getting nearer. They don’t try to come after me or chase me, but I just don’t like them getting too close. You never know what humans might do. I’ve heard that some humans eat groundhogs. That’s really scary.
The human who lives the closest talks to me from outside her den sometimes, and that’s ok, as long as she doesn’t start to walk to near my den. There’s a place outside her den where she puts food. Some birds eat some of the food but I like a lot of it too, and I need to eat a lot now to get fat so I can hibernate thru the winter. So if it looks safe, I sneak up to that spot and get some of what is out there. It’s usually seeds and sometimes crackers or bread. The humans who live in the other den a little farther away put out good dried corn, and I really like that. But I have to go a long ways from my den to get that so I’m especially careful of all the sounds around me when I’m over there. Sometimes those humans throw a whole ear of the dried corn near my den tho. I take that cos it’s really good corn, and we like corn a lot.
There were some really good things to eat here earlier, before it got cold. There were tomatoes, and they’re good, so I had a few of them. I heard the humans talking once about needing a different kind of fence tho, so I might have a hard time getting tomatoes next year. There were some squash around here too and beans and some other things I didn’t like, but some of the other stuff was really good.
They had some little melons growing that were really good. Some grew where I could get to them easily, and I took a couple of them and ate them. Some others were growing inside a fence with a strange gate. I think they thought the fence and gate would keep rabbits out. Well, rabbits are dumb, but groundhogs are smart. It was easy to get under that gate and get more of those little melons.
The human who lives closest to my den had some really good parsley growing in a little raised up place. I was just sitting in the parsley eating some one day and the human came out and scared me so bad that I had to run to my wall right away. I went back for some more after she went back in her den. I ate most of the leaves, so I hope more will grow, cos I really like that. The stems aren’t good tho.
That human had some good spinach growing in a big pot too, right near my wall, where I could eat that and not be too afraid, cos I could get away quick. Spinach is good stuff. I never had that and parsley before.
I heard them talking again yesterday. There had been some talk about getting a trap and taking me away from here, but they decided I could stay cos I’m so cute. They were talking about a fence around tomatoes again, but also talking about another big planter near my wall. They said they were going to plant some of those melons in that planter….just for me! Wow, these humans are pretty nice. They said maybe if they planted melons for me, maybe I wouldn’t try so hard to get their tomatoes.
Ha! Fat chance, humans, dream on. I’ll figure out how to get to some tomatoes, and I’ll get under that funny gate to see what’s in there too! They mentioned having cucumbers in there, cool! I’m glad I found this nice apartment den, cos it’s safe and quick to get to when there’s danger. And there’s gonna be good stuff to eat here when spring comes.