April 14, 2010


We were coming home from church Sunday afternoon last, and as we got close to the turn there at Queenstown Road, Rebecca suddenly broke the contentedly quiet ride with an interjectory, "DADDY! What kind of animal! is sort of brownish!, and looks kind of like a beaver!, but with a little short! tail, and it's BIG! And it was in that person's DRIVEWAY!"

Obviously, the stress had gotten to her. Must be seeing things. Probably was a cat or something. "NO! It was some kind of big thing sort of like a BEAVER!"

Uh-huh. Well, we'll just see about this. I turned around in Southside Baptist's parking lot, and after what seemed like an eternity waiting for the huge line of traffic (four cars) to pass, headed back up Chalkville Road to see what it was that was of such interest.

Maybe she really did see something.

Or not!

We rolled back up the hill, around the curve, and right there where there before you get to the house that has donkeys, right there where there's that little hollow full of dead kudzu, right there in the gravel driveway, there it was.

Well, I'll be! I said gopher, but it was bigger than a gopher. Just sitting there watching the world go by.

I went past and turned around again, this time at the place where they've got the big pasture, across from the place that's got the long pond with the ducks and swans. Surely whatever it was would have run away by the time we got turned around.


It was still sitting there, munching away on something. Rebecca got the camera out and snapped a picture, then the fat thing turned around and waddled off down into the kudzu.

Oddly enough, I've never seen a groundhog in the wild, but by golly, that's what it was. And I thought the armadillos we've been seeing were exotic!

Anyway, here he be from a distance, and here's a closeup, for them that like closeups.

Now then, back to not blogging.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at April 14, 2010 11:50 AM

A critter even more intellectually challenged than a possum. On my work commute, they're right on the shoulder of the Baltimore-Washington Parkway (alive, I mean).

Posted by: steevil at April 14, 2010 01:28 PM

Well, see, your argument falls apart right there! If they're so stupid, why don't you see dead ones all over the place like you see possums and their hard-backed armadillo friends! No one ever asks a possum for weather advice, and no one ever made up a catchy tongue-twister about them, either.

Nah--I have to say, the lowly possum still has a way to go to catch up with the lovely and talented whistlepig.

Posted by: Terry Oglesby at April 14, 2010 01:48 PM

Umm, depending on range & day I love to see Mr Chuck through the scopes on my 22-250, 17 HMR or other assorted ironmongery.

Posted by: Chef Tony at April 16, 2010 08:40 AM

Chuckles was so close you could have gotten him with a .22 Short in a zip gun. For that matter, you probably could have pointed your finger at him and yelled "BANG" and wounded him pretty good.

Posted by: Terry Oglesby at April 16, 2010 09:38 AM

It's just a flesh wound

Posted by: skinnydan at April 16, 2010 11:23 AM

CAREFUL--it has a vicious streak a mile wide!

Posted by: Terry Oglesby at April 16, 2010 01:02 PM

I'm always a bit surprised at the damage just one chuck can do to a bean or corn field. Heck if one gets into a home garden... BTW I got a email from one of your (anon) readers castigating me for killing chucks. So (anon) if you want I'll take you to a farm and you'll see for yourself what happens. We'll then look at the costs involved, this prolly won't change yer lil bleeding heart but them again I'm on the side of the farmer.

Posted by: Chef Tony at April 16, 2010 05:05 PM

Alrighty, now--I don't care who you are, or what you look like, but surely you must have some tiny inkling that it's extremely poor form to contact someone to try to start something with them over a comment they make on my blog.

Don't like hunting? Fine, no one's making you kill anything. But as long as whoever's doing it is doing it safely and legally, you can stow it. Here in Alabama, there is no bag limit and no closed season on woodchuck, and it's probably like that in most places, because as Tony notes, they are a danged nuisance.

Sorry, Tony.

Posted by: Terry Oglesby at April 16, 2010 10:05 PM

Yeah it's annoying but then I'm OK knowing anon is a coward. I look at it this way, Jim whose farm I do most of my varmiting on loses 2-5 k a year to pests. I can take a bit of heat to save a friend from that.

Posted by: Chef Tony at April 17, 2010 01:06 AM

So explain this dead kudzu phenomenom to me... Everything I know about kudzu says it never dies just spreads and spreads.

Posted by: Nate at April 17, 2010 09:34 PM

Yep, it does die back in the winter, believe it or not. Which makes it angry, so it grows even faster when it gets warm again.

Posted by: Terry Oglesby at April 18, 2010 02:31 PM

Is there a bag limit on the Kudzu as well? Or do we need to save the cute furry invasive plants too?

Posted by: skinnydan at April 19, 2010 08:06 AM

Nope, you can get as much as you want. We'll be set when we figure out a way to make cheap fuel out of it.

Speaking of invasive vines, I spent an hour Saturday cutting back the wisteria in the back yard. Boy, do I ever regret the day I planted that...

Posted by: Terry Oglesby at April 19, 2010 08:13 AM

My former Blog, Kudzuacres, was named after the field of Kudzu that used to be back of my house before it was replaced by over-expensive, under-built McMansions.

There was a large family of groundhogs living there and apparently dining on said Kudzu. I miss both the kudzu and groundhogs as they were much better neighbors than the McMansion rec center that replaced them.

Posted by: Larry Anderson at April 20, 2010 02:47 PM

And probably a lot smarter, too. And tastier.

Posted by: Terry Oglesby at April 20, 2010 03:10 PM