Where’s the woodchuck?

We had friends staying for a few weeks in August. One day, we were talking in the kitchen when Jacki noticed something brown and furry in the field beyond our garden. We watched it walk towards us, munching on grass occasionally, scuttle under our hammock, then wander down the garden into a rose bush. At one stage, it stood on its back feet to sniff the air.

I was very excited and wanted to watch it rather than run and get the camera, so the photo I eventually got (using my iPad out the dining room window) is pretty comical. It lends itself well to a “where’s waldo the woodchuck” game. Can you spot him?

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[Hint: He’s off to the right hand side between the flower beds.]

The woodchuck is also known as a groundhog (or whistle-pig or even land-beaver). It’s in the marmot family — my favourite mountain animal during our time in the Canadian Rockies — and one of Canada’s largest true hibernators. Here’s a photo I pulled off the internet of a woodchuck that is identical to the one we saw.

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I’m convinced he lives in the patch of woodland on the other side of the field. They make big burrows so I will head over there one day and see if I can find his house. I hope we see him again.

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