We have a woodchuck (a.k.a. a groundhog) living under our deck. At least I thought we did until I talked to my neighbors last weekend and learned that they think of it as the woodchuck that lives under their deck. So it turns out that there's a very spoiled woodchuck in our neighborhood with at least two luxury dens.
This woodchuck is just shy enough to make sure we don't try to do anything crazy like touch it, but it's bold enough that we see it pretty often. It suns itself on our patio, grazes in all parts of the yard, and sometimes just peers out from under our deck steps.
We've been coexisting nicely for quite some time. In fact, I'm pretty sure this is the same woodchuck that I used to see ducking in and out from under our shed when it was younger and smaller a few years ago.
However, recently we have had a minor difference of opinion regarding the mums I planted in pots and flower beds around our yard. I believe that mums make great fall decorations. The woodchuck believes that mum blossoms are incredibly delicious and should all be eaten.
At first I only suspected that it was the woodchuck smooshing my mums and removing the flowers. Then I caught it red-pawed the other day as I was coming out my front door with the dog. It was standing on its hind legs, removing the blossoms from the mums I keep in pots on the front walk. The dog barked, the woodchuck ran, and now the front of the house is flower-free.
Fortunately I only spent 98 cents for each mum plant, so the lost investment is minimal. Also, the plants remain largely intact except for the missing blooms, so it's possible that they'll survive as greenery.
There is one final pot of intact mums in the center of our driveway between the garage doors. If the woodchuck is very bold, it may get them. If not, it will be the only fall decor I have left unless I decide to put out our Halloween decorations (which hinges on whether I feel like staying home to give candy to the half-dozen trick-or-treaters we can generally expect).
Under the circumstances, I think I will forego putting out any real pumpkins for decoration because I suspect they are equally as delicious as mum blossoms.
I am willing to overlook the sacrifice of my mum plants just because the woodchuck is so cute. I'm glad my neighbors and I have provided a safe place for it to go about its woodchucky business.