When I was young, I adored the book Walden, Life in the Woods, by Henry David Thoreau.  I lived in the city, but had grandparents in the country – my mom’s family lived on a wooded farm near Saginaw, Michigan and my dad’s parents lived in a rural area near Lake Erie in Canada. 

Now I enjoy that my Condo’s deck overlooks the neighboring woods across the fence.  It is home to wild critters that include deer, rabbits and groundhogs.  There is also a walking path around the woods.  I often go there to enjoy the small patch of wilderness up close. The path also offers a chance to see the deer in their habitat. They don’t jump the fence.  But the groundhogs continually dig a path under the fence.   I’ve had to secure my deck with wiring and bricks against the visiting groundhogs.

Over the last five years it worked effectively, but I am currently facing my first new challenge.  This year the groundhogs seem bigger and more powerful.  One persistent critter managed to push aside bricks and dig under the wiring.  A call to my condo management brought a cage set up by the local trapper.  Within about three days a critter was caught and set free in an upstate preserve. 

This reoccurrence made me think again of the film “Groundhog Day”.  It’s a beautiful film that was set in Pennsylvania about the yearly February Ceremony where Punxsutawney Phil predicts an early spring or six more weeks of winter, depending on whether he casts a shadow.   I watched the film again this spring – and guess what?  I find It hard to dislike groundhogs.  I am so glad we can just offer any intruders under my deck a beautiful alternative trip upstate!