Hold Your Apples High!

 groundhog eats an apple at Gilsland Farm Audubon Center in Falmouth, Maine

I had been visiting Gilsland Farm for several days in a row letting this groundhog get used to me, so it was rather nonplussed when I slowly approached and lay flat on the rain-soaked ground. It worked an apple from start to finish, suddenly raising it high when it was nearly at the core, yielding one of my favorite pictures of the trip.

Portland to Portland

A close-up view of a groundhog eating an apple

We recently returned to Portland from a trip to Portland.

My mother-in-law wanted her ashes spread near a favorite lighthouse in Maine so the family gathered in the Portland on the east coast and we spent a week visiting relatives in the area. Since it was a family trip and not a photography outing, I left the big lens and tripod at home in the Portland on the west coast. I did bring my camera and two zooms, I didn’t know what to expect but they pack down pretty small and were easy enough to take along even if I didn’t get a chance to use them.

My wife and I discovered the delightful Gilsland Farm Audubon Center in nearby Falmouth, Maine, on our first full day in the state. It was hot and humid and we didn’t expect to see much, but my spirits rose when we discovered groundhogs near the headquarters! Thereafter I started getting up at 4:30am each morning to visit the refuge for a few hours of photography and still got back in time for breakfast before most of the others had gotten up.

In this close-up of one of the adults about to take a big bite out of an apple, you can see an identification tag in its ear. The groundhogs there are being studied and sport tags in both ears.

Based on my studies, I’d say they really like apples.