my recurring back pain from yesterday was mostly gone again this morning. i woke up at 10am so my sister could give me a ride to belmont since it'd raining later today. kevin was still asleep, no surprise, given how late he went to bed last night. he got up to use the bathroom and went back into his room. i didn't bother telling him i was leaving, i just ghosted out of my own house when my sister suddenly showed up outside around 10:30am.

my father made some pan-fried korean wontons for lunch. afterwards i went outside and refilled the lawnmower with the gas i asked my sister to bring with her from her backyard shed. i mowed half the front yard before my father came how to mow the rest, including the whole backyard. it was important to this down before the rain that'd be falling later today and for much of the rest of the week. i also dethatched a dried-up area of the front lawn then added half a bag of top soil before filling it up with grass seeds. the grass seed was kind of old, not sure how viable it is, if it doesn't germinate in a week, we may need to buy some more grass seeds, preferably from costco. while my father mowed, i also took some time to cut the stack of maple branches into more manageable lengths and filled up 3 garden refuse bins. some of the thicker branches i saved up to be used as firewood.

in the afternoon, looking out into the rainy backyard, i spotted something moving along the bottom of the southern fence. i couldn't quite make it out at first, initially i thought it was a large bird, maybe a duck. when my mind realized it wasn't a duck, i thought maybe a cat, or possibly a rabbit. a few more seconds elapsed before i finally knew what it was: a groundhog!

we spent so much effort last season fortifying the backyard against that groundhog. it must be the same one, because it hibernates during the winter, and must've made a burrow somewhere in the neighborhood. it's finally woken up again and now it's hungry. i alerted my father, we watched it from inside the house, making it way to the violet patch below the maple tree. i knew something was off because earlier i saw some plants in the backyard that looked to have been snipped. i either disregarded the evidence, or thought it was a stray rabbit at best. rabbits i can manage; a groundhog is a whole different animal, it can wipe out a whole garden in a single feeding.

i went outside to get some better photos but also to chase it out of the yard and see where it came in. groundhogs don't seem that smart but they're good at being evasive. it managed to trap itself in a pile of wire fencing, before it made its way to the southwestern corner of the yard. it was essentially trapped and stayed motionless in the hopes i wouldn't see it. when i got even closer, it bolted to the nearby pile of logs. earlier i saw it scramble up the log piles, so i knew it could climb, though a bit lazily. i banged on the logs to drive it out but there was no activity. maybe it ran away? maybe there was a tunnel underneath the logs? but when i took a closer look (being careful not to get surprised and suddenly bit by a cornered woodchuck), i saw its fat furry body hiding underneath the logs. using a long bamboo pole, i poked at it, driving it to the wood pile in the southeastern corner of the yard.

by then my father came out so we could corner the woodchuck. but it must've escaped through a crack in the southeastern fence corner, which required a little bit of climbing. we piled some wood on that corner in the hopes of keeping it out. there was a area behind the logs that looked like it'd been dug from our side, but because we buried some wire fencing there last year, the woodchuck couldn't get through.

next weekend, when it isn't raining, i'd like to re-inspect the backyard for possible woodchuck entry points. we already did the hard part last season by burying all those wire fencing, but there must be someplace where it's still able to get inside. we can also restack the wood piles, they're getting a little cluttered, maybe elevate them so more so there's no place to hide underneath.

my bottle of safter insect killing soap (concentrate) arrived today. i did some math to figure out the correct portion of concentrate to water: one 24 oz. spray container needs just a tablespoon to make insecticidal soap. i should've bought this a long time ago instead of buying it by the spray bottle.

my father gave me a ride back to cambridge around 6:30pm. as soon as i got home, kevin came out of his bedroom to wash the pile of dishes in the sink. i didn't see him at all the rest of the night. later i used the bathroom and took a shower before settling in to watch an episode of counterpart before the start of episodes 3 & 4 of the michael jordan documentary last dance. because we ate dinner so early (5pm), i got a little bit hungry and ate a korean kimchi cup of noodle soup.