Poor unfairly maligned Bailey
Back in July, we took him to a remedial dog training class to learn tactics to make him bark less often.
When we returned from vacation, I noticed this telltale evidence in the garden.
Our violet plants had been beheaded. From year's past, I suspected a groundhog.
If Bailey is barking to keep a critter at bay, and suddenly the week Bailey is gone, the critter is in our garden, I really can't consider Bailey's barking a nuisance.
Annoying perhaps....but Bailey was just doing his job, protecting the house.
I finally caught a glimpse of our fat furry friend.
According to The Joy of Cooking, groundhog (also called woodchuck) is edible.
Don't worry, I won't be cooking him any time soon. Several comments about other woodland finds have asked about whether something is edible. I thought I'd volunteer that info about our groundhog. There are also recipes for rabbit, porcupine, raccoon and opossum in that cookbook!
Bailey, hopefully you'll forgive us for taking you to anti-barking school when really you were telling us it was our responsibility to remove this varmint. Luckily Bailey doesn't hold grudges!
I suspect that winter will solve our groundhog situation for the year. By November, he'll be hibernating in a den he's used in the past. Sleep well little groundhog! You've already spent a few winters in our yard. You're welcome to stay again this year!
More about the photos in this post:
On a photographic note, this picture is what I pulled out of the camera. Through the power of Photoshop, I cropped, and enhanced to get the clearer pictures in this post. Post-processing can do a lot!
Usually I don't start with such dramatically bad pictures. I took this picture quickly out the window and through a screen so that I wouldn't disturb the groundhog. Bailey has him well-trained. As soon as we're up and about, the groundhog makes himself scarce for the day.
I know that Photoshop is expensive, and I find it difficult to learn. I use it because Jim bought it for his photographic adventures....so I'm just along for the ride.
Another, much less expensive alternative, is www.picnik.com. Jim has played around with it a bit and is very impressed by its capabilities. If you're looking for ways to improve your photos, you might want to check out picnik!! (I haven't played with it at all. Until our household migrates to new software, I'm sticking with what I know!)
Sunshine, Whales, and Bald Eagles!
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