Monday, May 12, 2008

Animal Identification Experts

My kids are doomed: they come from a long line of suburbanites totally disconnected from the natural world. Here's a conversation we had yesterday morning:

Grandma (my mom): Wow, come quick boys! There's a bunny in the yard!

TK: That's huge. I don't think it's a bunny. It's a CAT!

Me: There's no way it's a cat. I think it's a baby raccoon.

N-man and B-man: Staring blankly out the window...

Me: Clearly we have no idea what this animal is.

Grandma: Let's ask Grandpa. Grandpa, what's that animal in the backyard?

Grandpa, looking out the window for one second: It's a woodchuck.

None of us were convinced, still clinging to our belief that it was an oversized rabbit/odd looking cat/baby raccoon. So we looked up a picture, and sure enough, it was a woodchuck.

It ran away and went under our shed. I think it lives there. So if it pops out again, next time we'll know it's a woodchuck!

Random related thought: Did you know that "woodchuck" is just another name for a groundhog? I didn't know that either. I thought they were two different animals. We're all hopeless in my family. I hope the boys learn from their grandfather and not from the rest of us who clearly are completely useless at animal identification. Imagine if we were only trying to use tracks to identify the animal!


Mary Ellen said...

I am completely sympathetic. We saw a woodchuck over at the University of Maryland campus and my husband thought it was a "badger," which I believe live in England... Then we thought, hmmm... beaver?? We did not however, at any time, think it was a BUNNY, so I will leave this blog feeling a wee bit superior ;)

Goddess in Progress said...

Are you sure you aren't my backyard neighbor? ;-) There's a family of woodchucks / groundhogs in my neighbor's yard. But they come in my yard all summer long and eat my hydrangeas. Damn you, woodchucks! (*shakes fist at sky*)

jules said...

the boys are welcome to "go west young men" for a regular animal identification class. at any given time we have three rabbits, a woodchuck, several crows, possibly a coyote or even a bear in the back yard. it's like living on a wildlife refuge here! (it's one of the reasons i'm thinking a CSA is better than a garden - then those pesty animals are THEIR problem)!