One thing I don't understand is Groundhog Day. It's a rodent for cryin' out loud. I will share some groundhog stories I have.

Last spring my daughter and the neighbor's kid came running down to me to tell me a groundhog was by the swingset and wasn't moving and they were scared of it. Thinking this was odd, I grabbed a shovel and went to investigate. I saw this mangy looking groundhog just sitting there. I walked right up to it and got within the shovel handle's distance and the varmit didn't run away. So, I prodded him with the shovel and he got a little upset, bit the shovel, but eventually ran and went into a hole about 10 yards away. He looked all ratty and I had a feeling he wasn't well. About 30 minutes later, I saw him again by my garden. So, I called the police, and an officer came out and shot him for me. I tossed the thing into the woods.

Last August or September, I was eyeing three turkey vultures out in the field behind my house. They were having quite a feast. Curious, I walked out to see what lunch was. The birds flew off and I saw a dead groundhog with what was an obvious gunshot wound in the neck and side of the face. Obviously, it wasn't the one the officer shot because that incident happened months before, but I still wonder who shot it.

Several years ago, a groundhog had dug a hole right underneath the window sill of the window for the computer room. He would come out sometimes sit on the window sill and scare the heck out of me. My cat sits there too so seeing a groundhog when expecting a cat catches you off guard. I tried for about a year to get rid of him with a trap. Eventually, I dumped some poison (a TSP solution, after I used it to scrub the wooden steps to the porch) down the hole and covered it up. He never came back. The hole is still filled in to this day.

I know Groundhog Day has a strong tradition here in Pennsylvania and has roots in a German religious holiday called Candlemas, but I still don't get it. Groundhogs are a nuisance.

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