Competitive animal-watching

She'll never see me behind this twig. Mr groundhog.

There is an element of competition about our animals at the lake. My groundhog is prettier than my in-laws' groundhog, which we all agree looks like a well-worn bathmat on legs. As soon as I leave the cottage the doe and her fawns come out and give a display to my husband. I swear she's flirting with him.
I think I hear something

But now my father-in-law has gone and trumped us all by seeing the skunk and her babies walking in line through the forest. I thought of camping out all night in the spot where he saw the little critters but brief research on skunk photography will tell you that they don't like camera flashes and I sure don't want to upset her.
Oh-oh I think I've been spotted

So as I was tidying up the garden this morning I heard a rustling which I guessed was not just a squirrel. As previously stated I'm a great believer in the RD Lawrence method of tempting animals with slices of bread so seven-grain specimen in hand I coax the little blighter out into the daylight. He's a groundhog or woodchuck as they call them here. A young one with a very pretty coat. I show pictures to my husband. Very cute, he says. My in-laws are less impressed. Oh dear, they say. It doesn't matter how pretty they are, the sight of one has many people round here feeling a sudden itch in their trigger finger. Woodchucks eat your garden.
Err......constantly alert. A trained hunter
Our cat is a great spotter of wildlife and I'm relying on her to up my personal animal-spotting count. Last night she heard something in the woods and so we both stared from the porch into the darkness. Footsteps so loud I thought it must be people. Then a large deer steps out and starts nibbling forest plants. We both watch her in silence. A real Canadian moment. Now if only I could spot a bear or a moose but we don't really have them up here - probably more chance of a giraffe that would impress those Canadians.

Our woodchuck on the move:

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