We will some day go to visit my daughter’s family on the NC coast and actually enjoy the unique landscapes and nature of that place–such as have managed to survive hurricanes, strip malls, subdivisions and military installations.
Surely there are some natural area remnants–dunes, savannahs, pine pocosins, and beaches–where a curious mountaineer could wander for a few hours with binocs and cameras.
That has not happened yet since family moved to NC, and it for sure did not happen this visit, where the chief task was herding cats –two actual cats (who hate each), a very needy one-eyed dog (who hates both cats), two horses (who hate each other) and their attendant daily deposits, and two grand daughters (who actually got along!) and their attendant shuttling to and from, with the frenzied static electricity that just generally pervades this particular time of the year.
So the opportunity for discovery offered to me from our station in a suburban subdivision was the sky over the back yard.Â I had forgotten my binoculars, and never was holding a camera in hand other than the iPhone when I wanted to grab a shot. And I grabbed exactly two.
The image up top is, of course, a documented instance of our government’s efforts to subjugate the people of this country by spraying us with toxins or bacteria or hallucinogens or anti-fertility drugs or tranquilizers (pick your preferred conspiracy theory) by means of CHEMTRAILS.Â You might have thought these were just contrails, but no. There are people who will set you straight about this.
And if they do that to the plain old air, why would these same chemicals not be present in snow? You have read about or perhaps flamed your own snowball with a cigarette lighter and smelled the chemical smell of it (maybe butane?), seen the soot in the snowball (maybe from the match?) and watched as it to alarmingly witness that it does not melt but just disappears! (remember learning about sublimation in science class in grade school?)
Call me silly, but it worries me that so many Americans will go out of their way to reject anything produced by the peer-reviewed methodical slow and careful work of scientists but grasp with white knuckles the likes of some of the conspiracies floating around the inter-webs.Â Not every “conspiracy” sighting is false, mind you. Some hold up to scrutiny better than others, however.
But wait! Look! Up in the sky! It’s a bird! It’s a Plane! No, it’s…yes, it’s a plane actually. And a very common variety over said sandy back yard, and even occasionally over Southwest Virginia. I’ve seen these things flying so low as to get a side-on view as they cruise over Cole’s Knob near the house. Other Floydians from Willis and nearby have also seen them recently.
It is a V-22 Osprey— a tilt-rotor vertical take-off and landing troop transport, combat and rescue aircraft that has replaced the twin-prop helicopters familiar from the Viet Nam era. This design has been in the field only since 2007. With Camp Lejeune just up the road, these striking airships were always present to the ear and just beyond the trees, but never to the eye when I was toting my Nikon. This digital zoom from the iPhone will have to do.
And for those following the terrible tooth story, I guess I cried wolf. It turns out the tooth did not shatter, an omen of pending dentures and a eternal menu of oatmeal, as I feared over a weekend and from out of town. A porcelain filling had apparently gone down the bathroom drain. Yesterday, I was out of the chair and in thirty minutes (without numbing) and $450 later, I was good to go.Â I can whistle again!
Oh. You might want to know. These helicopter-plane things were actually designed to extract entire neighborhoods of more-or-less ordinary people like you and me and carry us to Agenda 21 Internment Camps to save the Spotted Owls. You heard it here first!