The groundhog has turned. The sweet, sociable Edwards Gardens' groundhog of old has become downright confrontational. I'll admit that I may have been partly to blame. I chose to bring a bagel with peanut butter for lunch. The smell of peanut butter alone might have been enough to entice the groundhog. I had been feeding some crackers to a black squirrel and hoped the groundhog would be satisfied with crackers too. It wasn't. My pitiful shrieks and frantic shooing motions wouldn't deter the groundhog either. It almost jumped up on the bench while I was sitting there. As I quickly packed away my lunch, it circled the bench and actually nudged my foot with its snout. It was at this point that I leapt up from the bench and beat a hasty retreat. The groundhog was trying to climb up the back of the bench as I fled to a new spot.
I think I was sitting on the same bench last year when I almost ended up with a squirrel in my lap, so I suppose it could be the location. However, I suspect that people like me are to blame. If you're going to feed animals, you shouldn't be surprised when those same animals begin to associate people with food and become increasingly aggressive and brazen, especially if peanut butter is involved. I know the groundhog was only interested in my bagel, but it still freaked me out. I enjoy seeing wildlife up close, but not that close. *g*