The white sky’s bright wound slowly scabs over. A groundhog’s head emerges from the hole under the bedroom, its eyes as bottomless as wells.
Another gray morning. A groundhog on walkabout freezes every six feet, eyes quick and brown as the shadow of a fox. Finches’ squeaky calls.
Crows and ravens squabble over deer gut-piles in the woods. Dirt flies at the woods’ edge as a groundhog enlarges the entrance to its den.
A pile of fresh dirt at the woods’ edge: a groundhog has dug a den under the roots of a poison ivy-throttled maple. Will he itch all winter?
Late morning, I take a break from crisis management to watch a hungry groundhog, his pelt shining brown and orange and silver in the sun.
Warmer outside than in: I emerge like Lazarus from the tomb, shaking worms of sleep from my eyes. A groundhog hauls ass into the tall weeds.
A sodden baby woodchuck plows through the dripping garden and tumbles over the wall. A smell of burning plastic on the breeze.
A Carolina wren swipes its bill back and forth on the end of a dead limb, as if sharpening a knife. A groundhog sneezes in the strong sun.
Overcast and cool. A groundhog stops at the bend of the road, rears up like a prairie dog and freezes. Only its dark eyes continue to move.
Ushering an enormous wolf spider outside, I disturb a baby woodchuck. Grass blades weighed down by rain spring up as it barrels through.
Cold and gray. The groundhogs are snarling under the house. A squirrel disinters its breakfast and cleans off the dirt with its teeth.
A thumping in the crawlspace under the house and muddy footprints in the snow: the resident woodchuck is in heat. Rain drums on the roof.
A woodchuck waddles down the road, pausing every few feet to poke its head into the weeds. A fawn bleats up in the laurel. The sun goes in.
A groundhog emerges from the stream and climbs the roadbank. I glance away for a moment and a turkey takes his place, shining like obsidian.