xt7jh98zct60_2 https://exploreuk.uky.edu/dips/xt7jh98zct60/data/mets.xml https://exploreuk.uky.edu/dips/xt7jh98zct60/data/2015ms086.dao.xml Bevins, Martha 0.05 Cubic Feet 55 items archival material 2015ms086 English University of Kentucky The physical rights to the materials in this collection are held by the University of Kentucky Special Collections Research Center.  Contact the Special Collections Research Center for information regarding rights and use of this collection. Martha Bevins letters to Tom McCarthy Radio broadcasting. Agriculture -- Kentucky. Birds Women air pilots. 1956 February 2 text 1956 February 2 2016 https://exploreuk.uky.edu/dips/xt7jh98zct60/data/2015ms086/Box_ms_42/Folder_1/Item_2/1956_2_2_Bevins_Groundhog_p1.pdf 1956 February 2 1956 1956 February 2 section false xt7jh98zct60_2 xt7jh98zct60 &—-————-—————w—————-———WVH , ,
Morning View Kentucky
2 February 1956
Thank you, Mr. McCarthy,
for your kindness to my letter of everal weeks ago about Chinooks.
I was a little taken aback, no aving thought it particularly
worthy of compliment. I am t a writer, my knowledge of the
findamentals of composit n being no more than would be
automatically acquir n a casual passage through high school
As this is Ground Hog Day, I have Just spent a thoroughly idiotic
and completely satisfactory hour sitting on a wet rock in the
midst of a dripping patch of scraggly elderberries and wild
raspberries on the drenched slope of the far side of the pond—field.
My position Was down wind, about thirty feet from, and at right
angles to the ppening of my Woodchuck burrow. I haven't the
slightest faith in the Ground Hog predictions; but it seems
silly to have sucha nice big one and not use him.
The rain poured steadily. The hillside Was mantled with buSy
, trickles and little sheets of Water which twisted around my .

boots and occasionally threatened to overrun my rock perch.
Adequate clothing kept me dry, the only inconvenience being the
necessity of hunching forward to make a roof of myself Whenever
I wished to Smoke.
It was not a lonely Watch. There is a surprising amount of
activity among wild creatures when that secret sense of theirs
tells them the rain is going to continue and that it Will be
followed by cold.
My first visitors as I stared at the unreSponsive Woodchuck home,
were Tree Sparrows in a loose flock, talking their Way along
through the weeds and grasses until they found the small grain

. I had scattered. They must be Tree Sparrows in the summer when
they are somewhere else. Here, in the Winter, they work along
the fields, never seeming to get more than a yard off the ground.
I never saw one in a tree.
The wet little fellows were still dining, with their gentle,
pleasant talk, when a soggy rabbit appeared, his fur darkened by
the rain, and so plastrred down that it was parted neatly along
his spine. He found the grain, carefully Washed his wet face with
equally soaked feet, then ate, with one eye and one ear aimed at
me. I have noticed that wild rabbits seldom settle down to eat
without first energetically washing their faces.
The rabbit suddenly stopped chewing, his ears went Sharply erect,
his nose searched insistently, and presently he moved his front
feet uneasily up and doWn. I knew what that meant —- cat. Several


barn cats in this vicinity have gone wild, and the destruction
they bring to little animals and birds is terrific. Although I
couldn't see the cat, I regretted having no gun, dealing with
these outlaw beasts as mercilessly as they handle their victims.
The cat must have scented me and gone away, for the rabbit relaxed
and continued eating.
Presently my own birds found me -- a Wandering Titmouse first.
Whatever business he had been intent upon was immediately abandoned.
He landed on an elderberry, shouting to his friends of his
discovery, and demanding a gift. Most of the nut-eating birds like
to be fed personally, being well aware that the pieces of raw
peanut I hand or toss to them are much larger than any I put in
the feeders. Through the creeping mists hurried more Titmice
and the inevitable and enchanting Chickadees, along with some
Redbirds and Blue Jays.
I managed to feed them all Satisfactotily, keeping a constant,
close watch on the still nonproductive Ground Hog burrow.
The pond down the hollow was rising rapidly, a wide band of ugly

. muddy water around the edge, while in the middle floated the
shabby disconsolate ice that had capped it at a lower water level.
I was peering tOWard the pond when I became conscious of a
"locked at“ feeling. It is not too pleasant a sensation, even in
this area where there is nothing very big or dangerous to do the
Without moving I surveyed all of the area within my range of
vision. Nothing. I slowly turned to the big brush pile about
seventy—five feet up the hollow. at first I saw only a meadow
mouse busy in the IOWer twigs of the heap. A big dead tree
projects above the brush pile at a flat angle, partly pushed over
by a bulldozer long ago. I glanced up its broad trunk to a
thick fork some ten feet above the rubble of broken trees in the
There, on the tilted fork, eating something, and watching me
placidly, set my Woodchuck. I had been staring an ache into my
eyes at an empty hole. After a moment's astonishment, I said
several bitter things to him about his value as a longvrange
weather forecaster, and went Splattering home across the hillside,
feeding the accompanying birds, and thinking nice thoughts
about a hot cup of coffee.
So much for my private Ground Hog Day, 1956. at least he sew no

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