It would seem that our resident groundhog had a very busy winter. Now she has at least four new rambunctious teenagers to look after. It's possible that there are more, but since I've only ever seen four at the same time, I'm assuming that there are only the four of them.
These little fellows are a little bit shy, but when they think nobody is looking they can get pretty playful with one another. From my observations though, their favourite activity is lounging around eating dandelions. It's a good life.
Despite being somewhat bulky animals they are surprisingly graceful and quick when they feel that they need to get somewhere else quickly. They seem to be getting quite used to me and when I'm sitting on my bench quietly they get quite close and every day they graze a little bit closer. Any sudden movement though, and they scamper off into the bushes where they will peer out at me until they feel it's safe again.
Soon they will have to find their own territory though, as mama groundhog has a claim on the Century 21 building and the surrounding grounds, and it doesn't look like she wants to relinquish it any time soon. She's still very much in charge of her brood. There's simply not enough room for all of them here, so they will be leaving the nest. They grow up very quickly and they do become somewhat of a nuisance as they like to munch on some of the pretty things that we have planted about the building. I don't mind at all, but not everybody is as happy to see them as I am.
The best time to observe them is the early morning before the road gets busy and the noise from the passing cars make them skitterish. They seem to be early risers. Mom has taught them well, the early groundhog gets the dandelion.