White-tailed deer, ground hogs and red and grey fox all have homes in the shoreline woods and gullies, as do raccoons and possums, skunks and muskrats. I like muskrats very little, having seen one stretching and preening before a dramatic swan dive in to the third pool of my lily ponds, just before the water level dropped several feet to reveal gaping holes which the water snakes quickly filled.
Three years later and several patches and gobs of Guerilla Glue and Anna Ferguson’s persistance and it seems we’ve recovered our dignity if not the upper hand. Muskrats punch through the banks of the creek recklessly, too, loosening roots and soil that otherwise stem erosion. They are as bold as the ground hogs who are annual renters in the bank just below the house.
Isn’t a bit of privacy reasonable to expect from rodents, too? Then again, when I think about a creek side sojourn one morning last spring when I came unexpectedly upon four trusting ground hog youngsters scampering from their den behind the little barn, noses skyward and reaping the sensory newness of spring as joyously as me, I ‘m sure I can adjust.