It's finally happened. One of the hundreds of groundhogs in my neighborhood has taken up residence in the garden. We had a scare once before, the first year we were here, when the snow was just melting and a little guy awoke to find that the forest he'd fallen asleep in had become a field overnight. We cornered him under a giant tank, threw a sheet over him, sent the dog after him, stepped on him, grabbed him by the scruff of his neck, threw him in a cage, and he still got away. He never did come back, though. That was four years ago, nearly. This one seems pretty content. Pretty settled in. Pretty hungry.
If I were around everyday like I used to be, I would be less concerned. As I worked out there yesterday, he kept his distance, scrounging around the grassy area behind the beehives, keeping his eye on me. Every time I made a move he'd scurry back into his pile. He'd peek out like this to see if the coast was clear, then duck back down again. So he didn't get very far. Since I work away from home two days a week now, though, I am nervous. Nervous for my beautiful bibb lettuce, the succulent peas, the baby cabbage, the edible flowers. What kind of damage will he do once he feels no threat? Once I am gone? For ten hours. Oh, my.
I have a cage set up- a real one this time, a trap. I put apples in it, but I hear they really go for melons. Since he watched me put it there, I doubt that he'll be all that enticed to go in. The only other thing I can think of is adopting him as my pet. Look at him looking at me. He's so suspicious. He'll never consent to that. Maybe if I had a melon.