I raised my eyes from my book to see the most welcome sight of all...my groundhog is back! This seems to be the same one that has made his (have never seen any signs of nursing or young, so I am making the call of male on this guy) home base behind my house for the past two years. He's thin and rangy from his hibernation but looks and acts healthy so he seems to be just fine. This is the first time I have ever been outside with him though and I tried to keep my observations discreet, dropping my eyes every time he stood up and looked my way as he grazed. It seems to have worked. I drank my coffee, turned pages and scratched a couple of itches without disturbing him.
He has in the past had a steady schedule, passing through my backyard always between 11 am and noon on his daily rounds and today was no exception. I am going to try my best to get him used to my being out there so that by the time summer is in full swing I might be able to snap a few pictures of him to put up on the website.
The big excitement in our neighborhood last year was a doe that took up residence with us for about a week or so. We've got deer all around us (I have seen them road-killed only 50 yards from the exit of the S.R. I live off of), but this is the first time we've had one actually on our street. I have also seen a coyote road-killed about a mile up from our exit, so they are on the move as well (which could be a bad thing as we are suburban/urban edge). My less nature oriented neighbors will pitch a fit if one moves into our area and someone will try to take it out ASAP.
I know we have foxes and skunks in our neighborhood too (caught a whiff of skunk last night when I came in from work...made me smile!), again via roadkill remains and have seen red-tail hawks, coopers (and/or sharp-shinned) hawks and screech owls around the house.
I'll keep posting about my groundhog and hopefully will have some photos soon so everyone can see him.