The ubiquitous Woodchuck or Groundhog (Marmota monax) is a common component of summer landscapes. Woodchucks often emerge from hibernation when there is still snow on the ground, then spend most of the growing season foraging in fields, along forest edges…and in gardens, preparing for another winter underground.
On rare occasions, woodchucks are apt to remind us that they belong to the squirrel family, and have respectable climbing skills. I have seen them perched atop fence posts and watched them scurry up a small tree when surprised, too far away from their burrow to run for it. This recent sighting, a Woodchuck on the limb of a large Black Willow tree, seven feet in the air, was quite a surprise to both of us. Had I been stealthier and able to observe undetected, I might have been able to determine if it was browsing willow leaves, exploring or just enjoying its domain from the sunny overlook!
Photos by NB Hunter. © All Rights Reserved.