“Most European nations identify themselves with eagles or lions, with some predator or creature of the air, ascendant and belligerent. I would like to visit the country which adopts the groundhog as its mascot, somewhere peaceful, some place that curls against the secrets of the earth, a little Belgium of the imagination, tables piled high with cakes, the Sunday bells ringing (not too loudly), the light falling on rolling hillocks studded with salad greens.”
― David Brendan Hopes
Groundhog day in May, you say?
I have not seen a groundhog in years. They used to be so numerous that my parents used them as a drive-time distraction when travelling to the cottage. “Hey kids, count how many groundhogs you can see on the way.”, was the common starting dialogue on our trips. A good tactic back then, as we would see hundreds in the fields along the road.
I know these burrowing creatures have been the bane of cattle farmers, as the cows would break their legs when they stepped into a groundhog hole. There are many who took great pleasure sitting in farm fields with their 22’s, picking off the groundhogs as their heads popped out of the ground. I suspect this was far too common and the population was pretty much wiped out in my area.
So, it was very nice to see this fellow on a rock-garden wall, posing so nicely for me. In fact, we was a bit too friendly and came right up to a few watching children, who had no idea what kind of animal he was.
Tamron 70-200 mm f/2.8 @ 200 mm
1/80 sec, f/4.5, ISO 200