This week brings up a question that has especially puzzled me since I began gardening in Ann Arbor: why do groundhogs get their own special day? I’m not aware of other holidays dedicated to clumsy thieves. Is it an attempt to lure them out of their burrows so they can be disposed of before gardening season starts? Tell me anyone around here really believes there is a choice on February 2nd other than six more weeks of winter.
The thing that bothers me most about woodchucks, aka groundhogs, is that when they waddle over to eat the blooms off the tops of my deerproof flowers, they smash everything else in their path. I get that they have to eat, but do they have to bash up all the other growing things while they do it? It’s true they dig such excellent tunnels that foxes will sometimes run them out and move in, and foxes kill mice, voles, and other crop-eaters. But this can hardly be counted as a direct benefit of groundhogs, since they will fight tooth and claw to prevent it.
Right now my local woodchuck/groundhog is no doubt hunkered into her burrow for the winter, but is she sleeping? Or binge-watching Netflix?