Notes from Groundhog Hill: Disappointed deer

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By Steve LaRue


The following dialogue might have been overheard around 2 a.m. on or around Hwy. 31E just past Ovesen Heights:

Leader: “All right, listen up! Single file, everyone … hooves together. Remember, we hide our numbers and don’t forget to hop every few steps to confuse any trackers. Bob, you’re lagging. Don’t make me come back there.”

Bob: “Sorry, I’m just worried about Lou. We just left him by the creek. Did you see the look in his eyes? Like he was literally caught in that Chevy’s headlights.”

Leader: “Forget, Lou. I’ve seen it a hundred times. Probably a goner. We never learn. Time to eat. Everyone, to the sunflowers. I call dibs on the zinnias. Bob, try the marigolds. They’re delicious.”

Lou (out of breath, just catching up): “Sorry, guys. That was close.”

Bob: “You OK, buddy?”

Lou (still breathing hard): “Sure. Yeah. Just stunned.”

Leader: “How’s the Chevy?”

Lou: “Not happy. “Hey, somebody planted basil in with the sunflower … yuk!”


That’s right, deer. Basil has been planted everywhere in the garden at Groundhog Hill. In every row. Alongside all those delicious zinnia. Thanks to our recent rainfall, the basil is healthy and coming up strong.

Like my 92-year-young father, deer don’t particularly care for basil (either sweet Italian or cinnamon). I don’t think there’s a connection between the two, but anything’s possible.

Happy to report that, so far, all is well at Groundhog Hill. With the exception of seeing some deer tracks in the mud, most flora have remained unsampled. Sunflowers are growing like gangbusters. Zucchini and butternut squash look very promising. Watermelon vines are taking over territory once claimed by nefarious Johnson grass. And, as luck would have it, I saw an actual bluebird in the garden the other morning. Think it’s going to be a good summer.

More later from Groundhog Hill.

Email Steve at groundhoghillky@aol.com.