I had a pleasant surprise when I first went outside to do my morning rounds. Rosencrantz and her kittens were playing at the bottom of the little shrine, on the INSIDE of the chain link fence!
So I found a couple of containers and put food and water out for them. Not longer after, I saw this.
The grey and white kitten ran off when it saw me, but the orange one stayed. This would be their first time eating kibble and the orange baby seems to really like it!
It was also brave enough – or hungry enough! – to stay eating after Mom left.
After finishing my rounds outside, I was just about to settle at the computer to go over the trail cam files when I saw movement out in the garden.
It was a groundhog, making its way towards the beds.
When I saw it stop and start going after some onions, I dashed out to chase it away. (Checking later, it did not eat any of the onions, but when I was weeding the carrots in the next bed earlier, I’d noticed some of the greens had been nibbled on. Deer, I thought, but maybe not? What do groundhogs eat, anyway?)
As I was making noise to chase the groundhog away from the beds, I saw it go under the pile of branched I’d pruned from the nearby trees. A pile we should have moved long ago.
So I went over to the pile and shook the branches to chase it out.
Moved around to get at some other branches.
Mover around and…
What on earth is that?
Well, that explains why it wasn’t running out from under the branch pile. It has a den under there!
Those larger branches on the left? I’d put those there not very long ago. They had been set aside for potential use, but when I needed to mow around the pile, I moved them on top. That hole was not there when I did it, which means it was dug some time within the last week or so.
I was able to stick my phone through the branches to try and get a better picture.
That is a pretty big hole! But then, so was the groundhog.
I knew there had to be dens around somewhere, and suspect there is at least one under the big branch pile in the outer yard, but this is the first one we’ve actually seen.
I find myself looking at all that sand and gravel piled up outside the opening. I know the top soil isn’t very deep, but this really shows what our ground is like under it.
Well, I guess this is a good incentive to finally move that branch pile! Then to see what we can do to persuade the groundhog to find somewhere else to live. Preferably not in the yard at all!