Report from the Mountains – Groundhog in a TreeJuly 26 | Posted by editor | News, Opinion Tags: Bette Sherman, Guest Column
Groundhog in a Tree
Guest Column by Bette Sherman
My rural living didn’t take place till 1977 when “we” (husband and I) moved onto 46 acres in the eastern panhandle of West-by-God-Virginia. (Barrie graduated from High School in May. We put her on a plane to visit family in Florida and we moved from Arlington to WV.)
Up until then I had always lived in the suburbs. There you see squirrels, song birds, sometimes a chipmunk, maybe a mole gets in your lawn, a mouse in the kitchen; good heavens, a rat in the garage but that’s about as wild as it gets. Here, in wild, wonderful West Virginia there were deer, and skunks, raccoons, bobcats (for which our piece of land was named) groundhogs and the list goes on.
We arrived with three dogs; A Mini Schnauzer, Max; a Standard Schnauzer, Satan; a Giant Schnauzer, Terra. None of them had ever seen wildlife bigger than a squirrel. We had cut a road and took down only those trees that occupied the space we required. There was no lawn to cut, no flower beds to weed. God did our landscaping and not a bad job either.
The dogs spotted a groundhog. The dogs chased the groundhog. The groundhog ran faster than I had assumed a groundhog could run. The groundhog climbed a tree – a spindly birch. I didn’t know groundhogs could climb trees. I didn’t think the groundhog could get out of the tree. I insisted my husband go and save the groundhog by cutting down the tree. Knowing there would be no peace on the mountain till the groundhog was “saved”, he went out and carefully cut the tree and slowly lowered it to the ground so I would be assured the creature was not harmed.
How’s a girl to know that something called a GROUND-hog can climb a tree? (P.S. this photo is from SM –thank you.)
Bette Sherman is a favorite of the Georgia Mountain Beacon and is a regular contributor. She is retired and is a pet-sitter who loves to write.