Unshelved by Bill Barnes and Gene Ambaum
comic strip overdue media

Tuesday, September 17, 2002

Hmmm...I'm a (temporarily) thwarted librarian :(

Well, Michael, this is as close an answer I can provide for now. I even called up the Kentucky Geological Survey, and they couldn't tell me the name of the creek. I suspect that I'm being kind and most people see it as a drainage ditch. However, as far as I'm concerned, it has a streambed, not man-made materials, at its bottom, flora and fauna, etc., so it's a creek. I do know it's in the West Hickman watershed area, but isn't West Hickman Creek. That's a little further south.

If you have no idea why I'm babbling about streambeds, read Michael's comments from a couple of posts ago.

I found out a lot of stuff in trying to answer the question. For example, I thought this was pretty interesting. Also, the KGS website had a lot of information on the area's geology. I knew we sat on karst topography (lots of limestone, with sinkholes and caves riddling the area), but the limestone formation itself is very, very old--from the Ordovician era (510 to 440 million years ago). There are inactive faults running underneath Fayette County, with the major one being on the east side.

Kentucky is one of the few states to have the entire topography mapped out at the most detailed USGS scale. I guess this is because of coal mining (in both the western and eastern parts of the Commonwealth), and the importance of water. (I've heard, but never verified, that Kentucky has more running water in any state other than Alaska. As a point of trivia, we also have the longest known cave system [Mammoth Cave] and the only moonbow in the northern hemisphere [Cumberland Falls]. :)

Another aspect of my search was that I came across a lot of historical place names that really aren't used to navigate the county these days. Lexington-Fayette County is a merged government, and while there are other towns (Athens being the largest), most everything's just considered city these days, especially with us encroaching to the south towards Nicholasville. BTW, Athens is pronounced "Ay-thens". Nearby Versailles is "Ver-sales". And before anyone gripes about stupid hicks, keep in mind that most English speakers don't call Paris "Par-ee", etc. Put it down to small but interesting regional differences. Although one of my favourite memories from college was a very stiff professor of German history who once started to say the "Treaty of Ver-sal--Ver-sai". He was so embarrassed. Guess he'd just been here too long. :) Anyway, it made some of the road names make more sense, and could come in very useful if I ever write my Victorian mysteries set here in Lexington, which was very bustling at the time and a centre of culture. ;)

That's all for now. Do you think they'd let me name the creek?

No comments: