Monday, June 29, 2009

Animal Planet

Look, a bear in Durham county. I'm sorry he was hit by a truck. He was a small bear. Still, it points out that the animal population is growing and/or losing habitat. We have multitudes of deer, groundhogs, rabbits and squirrels in our yard. My dog is no longer interested in chasing them off. He does corner the oppossum that comes up at night to "share" his food. PJ got a good picture with his cell phone of the oppossum hiding in the dog house box. We put the dog up and let the critter get out of there.

I like to see them all, except for deer when they leap across the road. Sometimes in Wilkes county we see turkeys which I like and don't get me started on Canada geese. At least here, they stay appropriately in the Yadkin River.

The newest editions to Elkin are Bobcats. RG and PJ have seen the large kittens. I've heard them at night. Very scary. It explains the large deer bones the dog has found. I'm sure he did not do it.

I remember standing with my father years ago and looking out the plate glass window in the living room of the home I grew up in out into the front yard. He spotted three rabbits and a bunch of squirrels. He shook his head and said he used hunt in the woods all day, just to spot a squirrel. He was a little amazed. Well, we don't hunt so much anymore.

In fact, today in Cary, the law requires you to bring your car to a stop if the Canada Geese want to cross Kildaire Farm Road from the shopping center to the pond. That is interesting and I guess it is a safety measure. Why are they at the shopping center? It's all asphalt there. But those geese are just a nuisance. At my Mom's place, a woman has been hired to bring her herding dog to the pond and he runs around barking and carrying on to chase away the geese. They leave for the day. She collected all the eggs she could find in the spring. She missed a couple and we saw a pair with two baby geese head out to the center of the pond to avoid the dog. Good, I mean all babies are beautiful. And what would the dog do if he found them? Unfortunately, the pond is not the place for baby geese. Mom has seen hawks swoop down and steal them. We have those large birds here too. RG has spotted a bald eagle at W. Kerr Scott in the past, but not this year. I heard they nest at Jordan Lake though over between Chatham and Wake counties.

That brings in the Revolution because the bald eagle was chosen for our National Symbol. It is said the eagle was used as a national emblem because, at one of the first battles of the Revolution (which occurred early in the morning) the noise of the struggle awoke the sleeping eagles on the heights and they flew from their nests and circled about over the heads of the fighting men, all the while giving vent to their raucous cries. "They are shrieking for Freedom," said the patriots. The idea for the National symbol was first discussed at the second continental Congress. Benjamin Franklin however, preferred the turkey. He said it was". . . a bird of courage, and would not hesitate to attack a grenadier of the British guards, who should presume to invade his farmyard with a red coat on."

This sounds to me like the Canada Geese. BEWARE. (However, the good thing- for re-enactors, you can collect the feathers that fall off and make the quill pens they used in the time of the Revolution. There are so many in Cary around all those ponds, you can probably give one to every kid in your class.)

This reminds me. Elkin will present a Revolutionary Day on Oct. 9th following the King's Mountain anniversary this year. It is expressly for students. This points out that after Joseph Winston mustered the Surry men in September, 1780, they came back though on their way to Bethabara with prisoners from King's Mountain. We have a grant to pay artisans and storytellers to present details of living in the late 1700s in a series of stations and money for gas for the buses. We will have the students visit each station for 10 minutes or so. RG and another OVTA member were able to discuss this in Abingdon, Va. last week. They have a very successful method for their Overmountain festival we will try to model this year.

Let me hint though that a very prominent writer is planning to write a story about the overmountain men. The Documentary channel is investigating us too as I already told you. I'm telling you, this emphasis on NC and SC and the Revolution is timely and going to be a great thing in the next two to three years for the whole state. Let's Roll. Up and At'em. Plan to find and promote your tourism assets.

Hey, WXII just announced an NC woman had pieces of antique jade which are valued at a price that beat the previous record on Antique Road Show. Told you. NC is a hotbed of antiques too.

PS. I have discovered George Moses Horton peet of Chatham county. His parents were slaves during the revolution in Northampton County. His master was William Horton. He was a poet and the first published african-american author from the south. You can still buy an antique edition of his work in Washington, DC for $4000. I wonder if William Horton was a Revolutionary soldier or his sons. Such a conflict, fighting for freedom and owning slaves... Was he a loyalist?

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