Pharyngula

We’ve been invaded by a pair of groundhogs who have taken up residence under our deck, and are apparently dining grandly on our weedy overgrown backyard. They’re evasive, though, and I’ve only got this one poor shot of one of them resting in the dappled shade.

ourgroundhog

OK, here’s a clearer shot of what they look like from the web.

groundhog

These two are big beasts, and they probably outweigh our cat, who claws frantically at the door to the deck when they make an appearance. I have mixed feelings about their presence — on the one hand, they have gnawed on things in the past, and now we’ve got a mating pair — but on the other hand, they are native Minnesotans. Maybe I should leave them be.

On the third hand, they do look rather plump and meaty, and if we weren’t all vegetarian, might be tempting to toss in a stewpot…

Comments

  1. […] Source: Mary’s Monday Metazoan: We’ve got company [Pharyngula] […]

  2. #2 Art
    August 4, 2014

    Watch where you walk because the groundhog holes are seemingly optimized to maximize damage to the legs. A shallow hole can twist an ankle. A deep one hit while jogging can destructively hyper-extend the knee.

    I’ve an acquaintance that is passionate about shooting groundhogs. When he was young his horse broke a leg when it stepped into a groundhog burrow and had to be put down.

  3. #3 Richard Dawkins
    August 5, 2014

    Today’s Creation Moment
    When a Bug Is Not an Engineering Problem
    Isaiah 54:11
    Isaiah 54:11 “O thou afflicted, tossed with tempest, and not comforted, behold, I will lay thy stone with fair colours, and lay thy foundations with sapphires.” Squid and chameleons change colors. So does the golden tortoise beetle. But it does so in a way never before seen. Squid and chameleons change colors by signaling pigment cells in their skin to shrink or expand. The golden tortoise beetle uses an entirely different method. The beetle is normally a very shiny golden color. But when disturbed, it turns blood red. The secret of its color change lies in the unique structure of its shell. It is made up of transparent chitin. The chitin is arranged in three levels, each with their own layers. In between the layers are microscopic channels, connecting them together. Normally, the beetles’ body fluid fills the layers, smoothing them into perfect mirrors. But when disturbed, the body fluid flows out, making the shell transparent and revealing a bright red fourth layer.
    Scientists quickly recognized that this design could lead to some important new technology. “Nature never stops surprising us with elegant solutions to everyday problems,” said a chemist at GE Global Research Center in Niskayuna, New York. This design is such an “elegant solution” to some engineering problems that “nature” must be given credit as if it were a being. Why not just recognize that the Designer of this “elegant solution” is the Triune God Who created it and uses color to show His glory to His creation?
    Prayer:
    Thank you, Lord, for using color so generously to beautify Your creation and show forth Your glory. Amen.

    .

The site is currently under maintenance and will be back shortly. New comments have been disabled during this time, please check back soon.