Groundhog Day


I have been plagued all summer with groundhogs eating my flowers, my petunias in two foot high pots, and climbing up the trellis to eat my morning glories four feet off the deck! I grow them to attract hummingbirds, as much as to enjoy their delightful shapes and colors.

On this rainy late afternoon I was delighted to spot the fox before it attacked the full grown groundhog. I stood transfixed in my second story window and watched the drama play out.  The fox killed the groundhog, grabbing it by the back of the neck and shaking it right and left to snap its neck. It took many attempts with pauses between each episode to catch its breath. I ran for my camera after the fox had completed its kill and was amazed to find it still in my yard. The fox seemed stunned, or maybe it was just exhausted? It put the groundhog down and looked away. It did that a few times before finally disappearing into the forest.

This encounter prompted me to read about foxes and groundhogs on the internet, learning that fox rarely hunt groundhogs; their usual prey are squirrels, voles or birds. I imagine the cats in the neighborhood keep those populations pretty much under control, leaving only the groundhogs for the fox.

The flowers are keeping their blooms for the first time all summer and the hummingbirds have returned. Thank you, Fox!


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