Ah the woodchuck. It is widely distributed throughout eastern US and up through Canada. They are often regarded as pest as they can do crop damage and burrow holes in pasture lands and golf courses. But we leave this little guy alone because he his well away from agriculture and causes no real harm.
Woodchucks are very skittish. This one is no exception. He usually runs for his hole when he sees me.
This day, I caught him munching on clover in the yard. They go by many names, woodchuck, gopher, ground hog, whistle-pig and even land-beaver. But the woodchuck gets his name from a word of Algonquian origin; akin to Narragansett ockqutchaun woodchuck. The usage seems to start around 1674.
While the woodchuck will not chuck wood, it was a surprise to me to see this one climb up to a low hanging branch on one of our crab apple trees. In further reading, this is not uncommon. They will climb trees to get away from predators or to just have a look-see.
So while this individual will not reach varmint status in our yard, we’ll just allow him to do his thing. After all, their burrows are used by other animals and they do provide a means of soil aeration.
Enjoy the clover, little buddy. Visit Camera Critters to see other creatures.