Wednesday, November 18, 2009


Shoulder up your gun and whistle up your dog
Shoulder up your gun and whistle up your dog
We're off to the woods for to catch a ground hog
Ground hog, ground hog.

This fat ground hog was taking the air in one of our pastures. When he saw me, he made for his hole under some rocks, but once he was right on top of it, he stopped and waited for me to take another picture.

We are at peace with ground hogs, as long as they stay out of the garden.

Too many rocks and too many logs,
Too many rocks and too many logs,
Too much trouble to hunt ground hogs,
Ground hog, ground hog.

(You can go here for the complete lyrics and a link to hear the old timey song played.)
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Martin H. said...


That camera of yours is doing 'the business' isn't it? Great photograph of the Groundhog in close-up.

You've had me scurrying off across the internet again; this time to find out the difference between Groundhogs and Gophers.

Nice little snatch of the song too. Any idea what sort of period that might have been popular in?

Pat in east TN said...

We have one big, old groundhog that lives in the barn and what worries me is this guy hasn't stopped eating for quite a while now. Sign of a bad winter coming? He's so fat he couldn't run if his life depended on it! Same rule applies here ... the garden is off limits.

Vicki Lane said...

Martin -- this is 'old time string band music' -- the sort that might have been played for dances with a fiddle and a banjo as the main instruments. It's traditional with roots in England, Scotland, and Ireland. "Old time" became very popular in the 1920's and there was a great revival in the 60's. Of course, where I live, it's been around all along.

Hey Pat -- Maybe another great blizzard like in '93?

Margie said...

Hi Vicki, so this is a groundhog, we do not have them here in the Emerald isle (I wonder if they were here and maybe banished by St. Patrick when he got rid of the snakes...)I don't think they ever got here. We don't have moles either. I am sure it must be difficult to farm with the little things tunneling everywhere. Hugs, Margie.

Tammy said...

Great photos! Groundhogs are pretty much welcome around here too...Except when they made a burrow under my shed and garage. The burrow was pretty big and so there was some concern it might damage the intergity of the (concrete block/no foundation) shed. So groundhog had to go---amonia and mothballs in the hole several times encouraged it to move up to an old dozer pile. There is one that lives across the road now, but haven't seen any on my place for awhile. We do have armadillos moving in though! Those are a shock to see.

NCmountainwoman said...

Love the photographs. My father and one of his friends used to shoot groundhogs in cow pastures for local farmers. The "chuck" holes were dangerous for the cattle. An expert marksman, he could shoot from afar with dead aim.

I used to think it quite cruel to kill an animal one wasn't going to eat, but the sight of a cow with a broken leg changed my mind.

Vicki Lane said...

So far the ground hog holes around here tend to be under large rocks or logs that the cows avoid -- thank goodness!

Merisi said...

Great capture! :-)
Your groundhog reminds me of one I considered my pethog: He or she lives (I hope) near an intersection I used to pass by frequently. I saw him often sitting there, watching the world go by. I don't think there are groundhogs around here. Thanks for the memories - funny how one could miss a critter like that.

Vicki Lane said...

I think that this groundhog (they're also called whistle pigs by some) has a very knowing, if somewhat wary, look.