An exert from my journal dated 5/14/15.
Yesterday I spied two small groundhogs running in the back yard towards the house trailer next door to the day care. I've known for a year or two that an adult groundhog lives underneath the empty house. Today, as I finished my reading during naptime while working on my farmer's tan outside, I noticed a stumpy looking figure behind the air conditioning unit next door and knew it was the little scruff. I got my binoculars out and watched him for a few minutes. I felt just by observing him that he knew more about me that I did him. He knows when we are all outside yet inside the playground fence and maybe that I am the adult and the kids are kids. I wonder if they can tell the difference. Maybe they have a name for me. "Oh... no bother... it's just her." I spy one now in the front yard. He grabs something from the grass to eat and stands on his bottom to get a better look around as he chews looking for what I don't know. Even though their home is below an abandoned trailer it is where they were born, as I came to work each day merely feet away... they were babies there. They know the smells, where the back door is or an escape route to their place and where to get the nearest bite to eat.
I've seen other animals go underneath the same home where the metal skirting is pulled away on this end. Several cats, I've noticed, and one time a skunk. Is the opening a portal to their underground get away system? The reality is surely a damp dirt world with the smell of cat pee and who knows what else. But what looks like a run down mobile home to us actually has residents that love it just how it is.
He is now on the trailer hitch and is braving the daylight. He hangs out there a few minutes before almost gleefully jumping off into the grass when he feels it's safe. He rested his head atop the trailer hitch and through the binoculars I watched him rub the side of his face on it like a cat. He's back on the hitch after his snack and watching me like a hawk. I think his twitching nose is curious about my garlic pretzel chips. I wonder how keen his eyesight is. And now there is two. These chips must smell good! While I am watching these two (and they are watching me) I back up my vision and spy another groundhog behind the house. How big is their family? Is Grandma cooking supper in the underground kitchen and Grandpa reading "The Under Ground Hog News?"
Directly, he's had enough and trots back under the house. The second one I call she. She seems to be
just as interested in me as I am her. Maybe she was babysitting or watching the other one. Maybe she's thinking "what the hell is the chick in the hat looking at?" Maybe she's looking to see if I leave my bags of pretzels. Maybe I will.
I haven't had my computer here for two weeks. The eye gets keener and curious when it stops to look around. Truthfully I haven't missed it much.