Crouching groundhog, hidden deer

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Steve LaRue

Jim La Rue, Official Historian of La Rue County (and longtime Early Files columnist for The LaRue County Herald News), notes that Groundhog Hill gets its moniker from my maternal grandfather, Paul E. Enlow (1896-1976).

Papa, as we grandchildren call him (and pronounced Pop-Paw), used to say that the area now home to one of the world’s most fantastic gardens was “Groundhog Heaven” (I guess because it’s highly suitable for the habitation of groundhogs ... close to a creek, lots of holes, vegetation.

Shawnee Indians camped there centuries ago, and many arrowheads were once found there. In ancient Shawnee, I believe the name would be something like Mound Where Smallish Hog Live in Hole.  

Now, the farm is owned by a local biscuit magnate and her family.

The creek is part of the Main Fork of the mighty Nolynn, and right now, the crystal clear water is kinda deep and pretty active. Wild redbud trees are in bloom alongside the bank and it’s an afternoon well-spent treading atop slippery rocks to admire this simple beauty and to appreciate the tranquility of a Facebook-free environment.

(Note to Self:  Don’t forget to post photos from recent creek walk on Facebook and then Tweet about them!)

Now, I realize this is just Week Two, but so far, the only wildlife I’ve spotted at GH are a squirrel (scampering away from me at a heated pace), a frog (also scampering away), and a solitary black angus cow (grazing in the adjacent field and ignoring me completely).

The groundhogs are there, though, as evidenced by their inconspicuous holes that run pretty deep near the creek. Nearby, tall grass has been flattened in the field not plowed up for gardening which tells my CSI: Miami-trained mind that “clearly, deer sleep here.”

Plus, there are hoof-prints all through the garden (indicating thousands or perhaps just two deer have been there, hard to tell without satellite imagining technology).

No doubt the inhabitants of GH are wondering when that delicious buffet of vegetation will be up and running. Soon, I say. Very soon. Meanwhile, go wade in the creek and look for arrowheads.
More later from Groundhog Hill.

To contact Steve, email GroundhogHillKY@aol.com or check out his blog at GroundhogHill.wordpress.com to see weekly photos of the garden’s progress.