A few days ago I was in my fenced-in back yard photographing my roses. And then I saw him, the groundhog that’s been hanging out on our property, knawing my squash plants. We locked eyes. When he saw me he scurried to the corner of the yard. He clawed the fence looking for an escape route and the noise of claws against fence sounded pretty desperate. So there I was with a camera in my hand; I gingerly walked toward him, but not too close, to snap a photo. The little bugger turned around and reared up on his hind legs in what I interpreted to be an aggressive stance.
In a split second everything I don’t know about groundhogs began swirling in head. Do they bite? Carry rabies? Can they outrun a human? How long and sharp are the claws?
And so I retreated, walking backwards toward the house.
I ran inside to get a better camera with a longer lens. Once back outside and at an even safer distance than before, I found my visitor. He looked up, saw me, and ran with impressive speed to his original entry/exit point along the fence line. I didn’t get the shot.
Later that evening I relayed my story to hubs. Like me, he’s seen the groundhog many times. But he doesn’t believe my story about the aggressive posture. I suppose he’s filed me in the category of people who claim to have seen Big Foot and the Lock Ness Monster. But I’m waiting. I’m going to snap a shot of this beast, baring its teeth and ready to strike. I’ll be using a very long lens and it will be epic.