The Sky Is Falling: Chickens in the Snow

Study in White
Image by fred1st via Flickr

We were surprised yesterday by more snow more quickly than we’d been lead to expect. Both Ann and I were in Floyd on separate missions and in two cars, and both of us curtailed our plans and hurried (well, crept) home on road that got tricky quickly.

Reaching home at last, as I got out of the car, soft flakes piled up on the windshield before I could gather my gear and open the door. In all that white calm, my eye was drawn to color and movement over along the creek. I cocked my head and squinted to make out what I was seeing.

There, at the house-side of the plank that crosses the creek, stood four very perplexed, anxious and heavily snow-covered chickens, pacing back and forth and clucking that the sky was falling.

They’d obviously been on this side of the creek foraging on the south-facing slope above the garden when the snow got heavy. With their hay-strewn path obscured (but not at all impassable) by the inche of new snow, they did not know how to get home. They might have well have been stranded on the moon.

I couldn’t help but draw parallels.

The recent debacle of science-smashing (that some have used to “deny” science in general and science that might point towards uncomfortable and costly changes–e.g., climate chaos–in particular) is a thin blanket of deliberate obfuscation of the path that separates where we are from where we need to go.

I’m wondering if we have enough sense to tread boldly over this thin, insubstantial and dangerous impediment in our way and get out of the storm while we can. Or will frozen chickens be found in the snow twenty feet from safety?

What if the sky really is falling?

An illustrated guide to the latest climate science / Climate Progress

A helpful, current 9 minute video–highly recommended. What We Know About  Climate Change

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]
Share this with your friends!

Fred First holds masters degrees in Vertebrate Zoology and physical therapy, and has been a biology teacher and physical therapist by profession. He moved to southwest Virginia in 1975 and to Floyd County in 1997. He maintains a daily photo-blog, broadcasts essays on the Roanoke NPR station, and contributes regular columns for the Floyd Press and Roanoke's Star Sentinel. His two non-fiction books, Slow Road Home and his recent What We Hold in Our Hands, celebrate the riches that we possess in our families and communities, our natural bounty, social capital and Appalachian cultures old and new. He has served on the Jacksonville Center Board of Directors and is newly active in the Sustain Floyd organization. He lives in northeastern Floyd County on the headwaters of the Roanoke River.

Articles: 3013


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

  1. The weight of the evidence simply is not enough to convince many people. There are still some people who think the earth is flat, evolution is hypocracy, so why not deny climate change.

    What we do not know is what climate change will lead to. But given human nature and our resistance to any type of change it is predictable that we will deny this phenomenon until it smashes us in the face, perhaps at a time when it is too late.

    Despite this I still have hope that enough of us will be vigilant so as to create response by our government, one that is not only effective but permanent. Silly, perhaps, but I can’t help but to wonder if it will be our only salvation.


  2. What a great illustrated compilation of climate change – thanks for sharing. I wonder if a few of the fence-sitters will gravitate to where it’s greener.

    Although I’m typically optimistic, I’m not so on this topic. I’m doubtful that many skeptics will reform their opinion. As Bill alluded to in the previous comment, the science behind evolution has been around for 150 years and yet how many disregard it? Having said that, I’m not a cynic, either. We have to continue getting the message out and the science behind it.

    BTW, here’s a link quoting the scientist embroiled in “ClimateGate” that has provided so much fodder for skeptics:

  3. Great video…And the chicken analogy holds up well. But, like Rick and Bill, I hold out little hope for the doubters out there who continue to get there news from the “fair and balanced” side of the science spectrum.

    Keep chasing down all of these links Fred. You never know…You might get through to someone.

  4. “The modern conservative is engaged in one of man’s oldest exercises in moral philosophy; that is, the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness.”

    -John Kenneth Galbraith

    “A great many people think they are thinking when they are really rearranging their prejudices.”

    — Edward R. Murrow