woodchucks i have known, not loved

IN MY CURRENT CHAOS OF ICE DAMS ON THE ROOF and ever more, more, more snow on the ground, I almost forgot to raise a teacup to the voracious woodchuck, or groundhog, whose official day this is.

I can say with certainty that no large rodent or any other creature is going to find as much as the doorway to its burrow in these here parts today, whatever that means for the timing of spring’s arrival.

My best groundhog story takes place on the Fourth of July, however, and many years ago. It’s a story of city-girl arrogance, and trying to fool Mother Nature. Enjoy it.

  1. Margaret –
    Great story and essay. That’s the kind of story that’s hard to forget.You’ll have me thinking of smoke bombs in February and groundhogs in July. I hope your guilt softens with time.

  2. balsamfir says:

    Ice dams. You said it. I’ve insulated. I’ve rebuilt the roof slope twice. I have em worse this year than ever before. Yikes. Now I’m pretending I don’t see them and hope the roof doesn’t collapse.

  3. wbever712 says:

    I’m so sorry your winter involves having to endure ice dams and the ensuing repairs. Over the past 40 years, I have spent a good portion of my time trying to create my very own Eden in the midwest and the northeast which unlike the biblical account also included aged but charming houses bought of course during the ice dam free warm months.

    I could bore you with the details of how I tried to solve the damned ice dam problem that ruined my experience of winter and sapped my financial resources (roof rake, electric cables, more insulation, really sticky roof shingles, hiring people to scale the roof and shovel, etc.). Finally I turned my aching back and diminished spirit on all of that and built a tiny one story 1000 sq. ft. house in ME with tons of insulation and a metal roof and no gutters so I at last have the energy to spend on creating my version of the edenic garden.

    Practical advice from my experience: electric cables work if you remember to turn them on before the ice begins to accumulate. Metal roofs are great but somewhat pricey depending on the size of the roof.

    1. Margaret says:

      Thanks, Ebever712, and welcome. I am leaning toward the electric solution for the real problem areas that are also very hard to access logistically. And we are revisiting the attic, where the insulation was recently replaced but I think not properly. Onward against the forces! :)

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