I believe they are in order, for we have a new resident living with us. He came to us sometime this summer; the exact date is unknown for he snuck in under cover of darkness.
He revealed himself to The Oracle one afternoon about 6 weeks ago - sitting very prettily in our front walk, preening in the late summer sunshine.
Having trimmed our petunias to mere nubs, he was quite clearly allowing the sunshine to help him digest his midday meal.
Upon discovery, he beat a rather hasty retreat ... underneath the deck on the front of our house. With entrances on 2 sides, he could come and go at will under the relative safety and cover of the plantings along the foundation.
A battle ensued 6 weeks ago and one that finally brought us to name our foe.
Please allow me to introduce you to - Elvis.
That's right - Elvis is our resident woodchuck. Clearly and obviously so-named due to the sneer/lip curl - which is ever-present and wasn't just for The Oracle's benefit. He was also named Elvis so that when he is dispatched - we can rightly say "Elvis has left the building."
And as you can see - he is living high and fat off our land. You can't really understand how large he is; he waddles around our yard and the neighbors as if he owns the joints. Which he clearly believes he does.
The Oracle has been hard at work to disabuse Elvis of this notion. Elvis has met the business end of a .22lr rifle - twice - with no obvious ill-effects. We are moving up to larger calibers at this point but given that we do live in a suburban neighborhood - albeit a heavily wooded one with large properties - we have to be very careful about discharging a firearm.