The Fugitive

It’s been a beautiful stretch of weather the past few days! We did some glazing and managed to get some of the plywood off the front windows. Two down  – one more to go. There’s still glass in one of the panes that’s covered with plywood. Just need to track down some glass we can recycle for the last one – then we’ll have light!


Also did some planting – so it needs to rain soon. Can’t believe I’m saying that – wish I’d gotten this done before last week. We also put the posts up for the fence – pretty excited about that! It’s going to look great.






And then Sally can come with us to work!


We also captured a critter. A groundhog. Also known as a “whistle-pig”. They’re everywhere around here. This one was pretty young. It had been sneaking in through a hole in the side which has since been repaired. We put it in a barrel. Unfortunately, it got out. The hunt continues.



Not cool. Who knew they were such escape artists? Groundhogs are rodents and are a type of Marmot (which is also a brand of ski-wear – not to be confused with Groundhog ski-wear). They’re accomplished swimmers and can climb trees – curious fact – obviously a new one on us. I can’t say I have ever seen a groundhog in a tree.

Groundhogs are used in medical research on hepatitis B-induced liver cancer. When infected with woodchuck hepatitis B virus, they are at 100% risk for developing liver cancer, making them a good model for testing hepatitis B and liver cancer therapies. That’s kind of sad.

Robert Frost wrote a poem about them – apparently as imagery for his emotional reticence:

The Drumlin Woodchuck

One thing has a shelving bank,
Another a rotting plank,
To give it cozier skies
And make up for its lack of size.

My own strategic retreat
Is where two rocks almost meet,
And still more secure and snug,
A two-door burrow I dug.

With those in mind at my back
I can sit forth exposed to attack
As one who shrewdly pretends
That he and the world are friends.

All we who prefer to live
Have a little whistle we give,
And flash, at the least alarm
We dive down under the farm.

We allow some time for guile
And don’t come out for a while
Either to eat or drink.
We take occasion to think.

And if after the hunt goes past
And the double-barreled blast
(Like war and pestilence
And the loss of common sense),

If I can with confidence say
That still for another day,
Or even another year,
I will be there for you, my dear,

It will be because, though small
As measured against the All,
I have been so instinctively thorough
About my crevice and burrow.


Frost_RobertAn interesting guy, Frost. I like what he said, “It is the hard fate of the unworldly to have to be more worldly than the worldly sometimes to make up for the other times when they are less worldly.” Here’s an excellent essay about him. “A Drumlin Woodchuck” is from the book THE POETRY OF ROBERT FROST edited by Edward Connery Lathem. Copyright © 1923, 1928, 1934, 1969 by Henry Holt and Company, copyright © 1936, 1942, 1951, 1956, 1962 by Robert Frost, copyright © 1970 by Lesley Frost Ballantine.

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