Dragonflies and a Groundhog

Today I was photographing in Merkle Wildlife Sanctuary, which is located in Marlboro, Maryland. Denise and Lydia were at Six Flags, Maryland, but since I am not one who enjoys amusement parks, I was encouraged to leave them alone. It was hot; real hot!

The dragonflies didn’t mind the heat at all. They were flying around, chasing each other, and once in a while landed on a stalk of grass. I was not able to catch any in-air flights, but I did get a lot of photos of the dragonflies.

Later on I found a groundhog where I first saw a nice den. These critters can do an awful lot of damage to farm equipment like wagons when a wheel is swallowed up by one of these dens. Here at the wildlife sanctuary the groundhog is left alone and allowed to keep his deep-holed den. I first spotted him when I was quite a ways from him–maybe about 30 yards. I slowly, ever so slowly and casually, move quietly closer. One slow step after the other brought me closer and closer. I don’t know if wearing my camo shirt helped or not, but he didn’t move as I inched closer. This groundhog seemed like a model of sorts as it was positioned on his haunches looking around.

Here are some photos I captured today.

Wet Groundhog

Staying with my theme that you never know what  you might see out in the wild, here is a photograph of a very wet groundhog I saw last month in Elk County. I was photographing the turkey when I happened to see this little dude looking for some food. It was comical to me. He was running around and looked almost like a drenched rat. He found plenty to eat though!

Groundhogs were a nuisance back where I grew up in Lancaster County. They like to burrow and they make large holes in the fields. Farmers do not readily see these large holes and can damage a hay wagon or other machinery when  a wheel drops down in one. A broken wheel or axle and an angry farmer is not a pretty sight for a groundhog!

This little guy was not creating much damage, at least on this day. He was just out in the rain looking for food. Again, I wish I had a larger zoom lens to fill the frame more, but at least this shot reminds me of that day and the wet groundhog!