The downside to celebrity

It was just a matter of time before the paparazzi found Perry County Blossom, our answer to that other weather predicting groundhog in Pennsylvania. Below the tabloid  is the real back story from her caregivers Jack and Tamara.

tabloid cover

2013 marks the fourth year, and third hibernation since Jack and Tamara first saw Blossom foraging among the oaks. Jack started feeding her and over the course of the year, she learned to recognize his voice, her name and the word “Dinnertime!” He guesses she was a year or two old on their first meeting.

In spring 2011, she’d had a litter of five and then seven the following spring. When the babies were about the size of guinea pigs, she would bring the pups out to eat and Tamara and Jack would watch them play. This year, she didn’t bring the pups out.

Nursing the pups  is very strenuous for Blossom; taking a toll on her energy and any stored fat. When she emerges, she’s starving and will raid the garden and chow down on whatever else is available.

Jack, her personal chef, says Blossom loves anything juicy such as ripe pears, peaches, tomatoes, nectarines and melons. He usually gives her a half-cup of old fashioned rolled oats ( with a pinch of Sel de Guerande,  French gray sea salt), one apple, one carrot, one-eighth head of cabbage and six peanuts in the shell. Blossom also gets any spare cucumbers from the garden.

Jack says there is a specific order in which she eats: oatmeal, peanuts, carrots, cabbage, then the apples. She will not eat squash or any kind of potato and especially despises bananas. Blossom has put on substantial weight over the past month, an improvement over her first appearance this spring. She was thin and was looking a little less than healthy.

They are sometimes joined by Ratty or Fox, a gray fox. Fox gets two dog biscuits every night plus table scraps. As Jack said, “It’s a wild version of the nuclear family.”

Whistlepig and sidekick eat out (or in)

Readers are familiar with that blogally famous Perry County Prognosticator, Blossom the Groundhog. As good as her predictions are, she has been a little less predictable.

However, her spokespeople, Tamara and Jack, have sent new dispatch. Blossom has reappeared after spending the spring rearing a den of babies (pups? kittens? whistlepiglets?) Jack, an excellent human chef and vintner, was pleased to offer a spread that would delight any rodent of Blossom’s stature: cabbage, apples and peanuts. This time, Blossom brought a friend, the curl-your-toes-cute Ratty the wood rat, who was content with a bowl of oatmeal. Thanks to Tamara and Jack for the photo update!

BlossomGetsHerstrength BlossomGrump

Ratty Solo