Fugu said that he'd rather live underground than underwater.
Our front yard doesn't have any grass, so the earth's surface gets really hot during summer.
Koichi gently stroked Fugu and placed him on the ground.
The ground/earth face is the surface that makes up the ground or the Earth's surface.
The reading for 面 is what you'd expect. 地 on the other hand is じ, which is a bit different (though close sounding) to what you learned previously. Thank the Chinese and their ever changing language for this one. Think of Jesus laying on the ground, telling you how comfortable the ground is. You say "Jesus, you have to get off the ground, you have a dinner to go to," but he doesn't want to leave.