A groundhog, AKA Chuck Wood, was enjoying a snack when your intrepid photographer spotted him last weekend. The image might not be the greatest, 'cause it was shot through a screen and a window. Oh, well.Mystery bug: not sure if I've ever seen this kind of butterfly before; it made a stop on mums which are growing in our front yard.The message posted on a sign in front of the First Baptist Church in Anna might be worth remembering.

Please read this...A groundhog...a mystery bug...and a sign...

Thank goodness for groundhogs. And the occasional mystery bug. And the occasional message posted on a sign in front of one of our local churches.

Last Saturday, while engaged in dish-washing duties, I happened to look out our kitchen window and spotted our neighborhood groundhog.

I say it's the neighborhood groundhog, as in a single critter. I'm not sure if we don't actually have more than one such creature which has decided to set up home in our neighborhood.

I think I've seen the same groundhog several times. To tell you the truth, he kind of reminds me of a grizzly bear which got thrown in the dryer and shrunk six or seven sizes.

The groundhogs I've seen before have pretty much been brown. This one is more of a silver/brown. Kind of dignified colors, I should think Perhaps we have a wise old groundhog, a critter which would be eligible for membership in AARP, if such a thing were possible. I wonder if there's an American Association of Retired Groundhogs. AARG!!!

Our groundhog appears to be, in a word, well fed. He was munching on some sort of goody when I spotted him last Saturday. We're guessing that he's getting ready for winter. Nice and plump. With that in mind, one has to wonder: is the plumpiness of a groundhog an indication of the kind of winter we are about to experience.

A groundhog wasn't the only creature which got my attention over the past couple of days.

Last Saturday and Sunday were very sunny, very, very warm, and very, very, very unusual for the last weekend in October, at last in terms of the weather. 

Thanks to the warm weather, some of the mums in our front yard actually were buzzing on Saturday and Sunday. All sorts of winged, flitting, buzzing creatures were visiting the mums. Yes, there were so many bugs buzzing around that you could actually hear the buzziness.

One of the creatures which paid a visit to the mums was a butterfly which I'm not sure I had ever seen before. The butterfly had black wings, with white tips at the end of the wings. Must be time to do a Google search. I'll let you know if I unravel this mystery.

You may be wondering why I'm making mention of a groundhog and a butterfly this week. Then again, you probably know that I tend to share such things on a pretty regular basis in this space. I like critters in all kinds of shapes and sizes, and we have lots of critters in all kinds of shapes and sizes in our yard and neighborhood. 

I couldn't help but think how lucky our friend the groundhog really is. He just eats all of the good stuff growing in The Other Half's garden and gets fat, er, plump, for the winter. And the mystery butterfly just kind of flits around, looks for something to eat, and does whatever a butterfly does on a sunny, warm day in October.

Both of these critters don't have to worry the silliness which has been part of the 2016 election campaign, which, as near as I can tell, actually started sometime in 1800. Fortunately, the silliness comes to a merciful end next week. I hope...

...which leads to the message which I saw one day last week on a sign in front of a church in Anna. All I can think of saying after seeing the the message on the sign is...amen...

The Gazette-Democrat

112 Lafayette St.
Anna, Illinois 62906
Office Number: (618) 833-2158
Email: news@annanews.com

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