Saturday, July 4, 2015

Best Fireworks Today

I looked out the window this morning down to the east, where there's a field and then woods, and at the top a little garden spot that Libby has flowers growing in. Last summer I'd driven a tall pipe into the fence line of that garden so as to hang a flower basket on it, as back here in the woods there's never quite enough light for those flower baskets they sell at the grocery store when spring is upon us to thrive. So on top of that post today was a big red-tailed hawk. I'd seen him flash away a few times before this year, when I was walking out to the truck. He (or she) is always well on the wing before I ever think to look up, so although I've thought I was seeing a hawk, it might have I thought been one of the owls that also frequent the woods here. This is most definitely a hawk. I hope the hawk can coexist ok with the owls. There's plenty of squirrel stew for all, plus snakes (I see from looking at google that hawks seem to love snakes, including copperheads), mice, voles, rabbits. Have at it, boys. The cats live inside, they can watch the adventure.

Last time I saw a red-tail this close was way back when I had some bantam chickens for pets. I did eat the eggs. I had a small variety, including a couple of Cornish, who looked a little like a red tail. One day I was splitting wood in the yard, and the chickens were out ranging as they did, and I noticed there was an extra chicken! A red-tail had landed amongst the flock, possibly one of the bantams had just jumped aside at the last second. Chickens are always scanning the sky above them for danger. I hollered at the hawk and he reluctantly flew up to a branch. He gave up and went on since I didn't leave. The chickens survived that day, although they didn't really thrive out here. Too many predators, and too little attention from me. Libby planted some flowers they tore up too--that didn't put them in her good graces. It was one of those things: you moved out to the country and you tried to live like your grammaw did, without really having a clue of why grammaw's chickens were always a thriving flock. (Hint, she was always there, there was a good yard dog.) Grammaw did give me a good anatomy lesson concerning chickens one Saturday or Sunday. We'd eat one of those chickens on Sundays. She killed it privately, plucked it, then laid it out on the kitchen table and showed me what was inside. The craw was full of corn she'd fed the chickens that morning. She cut it open and put the corn aside. Later she tossed the corn back out on the ground, for the chickens. The ground was bare. There were no ticks.

I'm not going to spend much more time on poor Ben Jones. He's making the rounds of the Fox morning shows now. A friend of mine sent me a link of Ben and Steve Doucey talking flag, and how the Dukes of Hazzard was actually the greatest blow for freedom and humanity since Wonder discovered the formula for white bread written by a finger of flame on the very walls of Plato's cave. I'd imagine someone in the Hazzard cast might have sent Ben a note by now. "Will you please STFU!" If they've taken the show down from whatever cable network was running it, it's likely because Ben has made such a huge noise that they've had to. Who was paying attention before Ben? Dukes of Hazzard was ubiquitous on the endless list of shows you have to pay for to get the tiny number of channels you want to watch. If it was listed in a block of time I was scrolling through, it was a certainty that I was not going to click there. I have no problem with it's existence, and it will exist. So will Mayberry, and Amos 'n' Andy. It's the fodder of bored Saturday mornings, particularly in the drear winter, the tv in the living room, the endless laugh track, the little round heads sitting in front of it, silhouettes against the flickering, the house smelling of washing clothes, washing dishes, baking bread or boiling cabbage. We will not manage to erase history, nor should we. All we need to do is develop a more accurate knowledge of our history, of what the flag stands for, of where it shouldn't out of decency ever be seen. If NASCAR can really make banning it stick, a great step in this direction will have been made.

The Dukes are a clueless bunch. That's their humor, such as it is. The show needed Mr. T for balance. "Take a right, Fool. Don't drive through that feed store."

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