Clark Mountain Musings: November 2005

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Finley Mountain 24K Topo view.

Monday, November 28, 2005

What is Rhyolite?
Rhyolite is an igneous, volcanic (extrusive) rock,
of felsic composition, with aphanitic to porphyritic texture.
Mineral assembly is usually quartz, alkali feldspar
and plagioclase (in a ratio > 1:2).
Biotite and pyroxene are common accessory minerals.

Common sign in the Ozarks.

View of Finley Mountain and Piedmont.

One more view of the very montain like boulder configuration overlooking the McKenzie Creek valley from Clark Mountain.

Another view of the Massive boulder, look at the sheer face and the scale to the trees.

A boulder near our home.

View from atop the massive Clark Mountain Rhyolite boulders.

Ultra-massive boulders on Clark Mountain. These guys are over 20 feet high.

Don't look at this photo to long, or you'll become quite dizzy. Short-leaf Pine grove near our home.

A panoramic view of Finley Mountain, from massive boulders on Clark Mountain. Looking to the west, northwest. Finley borders Reynolds County and is at 1261 fsl.

Open Birdline Monday III

Special Focus, large Acciptrids. The golden eagle (Aquila chyrsaetos).

Ecology of the Golden Eagle

Jerry McGahen Auk, January-March 1968

Observations of the Golden Eagle in Montana

ES Cameron Auk, July-September 1908

Nesting of Golden Eagles in the Central and Southern Appalachians

DS Lee, WR Spofford The Wilson Bulletin, October-December 1990

The Golden Eagle

Wm. L. Finley Herman T. Bohlman Condor, Jan-Feb 1906

Observations of Golden Eagle Attacks on Coyotes

Homer S. Ford J. R. Alcorn Condor, Jan-Feb 1966

Interactions between Corvids and a Golden Eagle on a Pheasant Kill

JB Blatt SK Sherrod Auk, Jan-March 1974

Golden Eagle Reintroduction in Ireland

Golden Eagle falconry in Kazakhstan


The Political Teen

Sunday, November 27, 2005

Oh, who like thee!

From "The Cross-Bearer: A Vision" Entry III

Published by The American Tract Society, 1861

Chapter I The Model Cross-Bearer


How beauteous were the marks divine,
That in thy meekness used to shine,
That lit thy lonely pathway, trod
In wondrous love, O Son of God!

Oh, who like thee, so calm, so bright,
So pure, so made to live in light?
Oh, who like thee did ever go,
So patient through a world of woe?

Oh, who like thee so humbly bore
The scorn, the scoffs of men, before?
So meek, forgiving, godlike, high,
So glorious in humility?

Ev’n death, which sets the prisoner free,
Was pang, and scoff, and scorn to thee;
Yet love through all thy torture glowed,
And mercy with thy life-blood flowed.

Oh, in thy light be mine to go,
Illuming all my way of woe!
And give me ever on the road,
To trace thy footsteps, Son of God!

Arthur Cleveland Cox

Indian Grass and Big Bluestem intermixed with Clark Mountain Rhyolite in glade environ. Beautiful.

Friday, November 25, 2005

View of Buford Mountain from Hughes Mountain.

Flowing Water and leaves.

Thursday, November 24, 2005

A Blessed Thanksgiving to All of You

The Federalist Patriot Founders' Quote Daily

"It is the duty of all Nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey his will, to be grateful for his benefits,and humbly to implore his protection and favors."

-- George Washington (Thanksgiving Proclamation, 3 October 1789)

Reference: George Washington: A Collection, W.B. Allen, ed. (543)

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

President Bush visits Mongolia

For those of you who may be wondering...... Mongolia is here.

An excellent post with some great photos at the Gateway Pundit

Clark Mountain panorama overlooking Canyon Club Golf Course.
Clark Mountain Musings is making some noise

This blogosphere adventure is fun.

A big Shout Out to Third World County blog for a nice post on my blog post relating the French and their lecture of surrender to Islamists in the US.

I hope you didn't miss this trackback to Clark Mountain Musings, yesterday. I disagree with the post in only one regard: I think the situation is humorous, even if it isn't belly-laugh funny. heh. Oh, irony, thy personification is French... Clark Mountain Musings is new to me yesterday (found 'em in my open trackbacks, folks), and I'm already a tad upset with the blog cos I have only so many hours in a day, and even speedreading via a broadband connection isn't enough to let me keep track of all the good reads!

The Federalist Patriot Founders' Quote Daily

"It is the duty of every man to render to the Creator such homage, and such only, as he believes to be acceptable to him. This duty is precedent both in order of time and degree of obligation, to the claims of Civil Society. Before any man can be considered as a member of Civil Society, he must be considered as a subject ofthe Governor of the Universe."

-- James Madison (A Memorial and Remonstrance, 1785)

Reference: Our Sacred Honor, Bennett (327)

Monday, November 21, 2005

Is Non, the Superman nemesis, a bodyguard for Iran's president?

You make the call.. Maybe if it isn't Non, then the son of Non? What I do know is that the 3 villains from Krypton were majorly freakily scary, especially when they took out the snake and walked on water. Non was one big scary strong Alien.

So... Iran truly is in the axis of evil, ready to take on all comers, including Superman. Another freaky coincidence.... in Superman II, terrorists threaten to destroy Paris with a thermonuclear device and awaken the Trio from Krypton (Non, Ursa, and the leader Zod).

Just check the photo... and maybe just maybe Zod has assumed the roll of Ahmadinejad.

Superman II movie synopsis

Linked to

The Political Teen , The Conservative Cat , Right Wing Nation , Stop the ACLU , Pursuing Holiness , Don Surber , NIF , Mac Stansbury , Third World County , Michelle Malkin , Angry in the Great White North
The Federalist Patriot Founders' Quote Daily

"It is the duty of all men in society, publicly, and at stated seasons, to worship the SUPREME BEING, the great Creator and Preserver of the universe. And no subject shall be hurt, molested, or restrained, in his person, liberty, or estate, forworshipping GOD in the manner most agreeable to the dictates of his own conscience; or for his religious profession or sentiments; provided he doth not disturb the public peace, or obstruct others in their religious worship."

-- John Adams (Thoughts on Government, 1776)

Reference: The Works of John Adams, Charles Adams, ed., 221.
It's Open Birdline Monday!

Special Focus, large woodpeckers, The returning Ivory-billed woodpecker of our southern United States.

John Dennis The Auk, October 1948

Allen and Kellog The Auk, April-June 1937

Edwin Hasbrouck The Auk, April-June 1891

The Passing of the Ivory-billed Woodpecker
EA McIlhenny The Auk, October-December 1941

George Beyer The Auk, April-June 1900

A Rare Plumage of the Ivory-billed Woodpecker (Campephilus Principalis)
Authur Wayne The Auk, October-December 1905

James T. Tanner's The Ivory-billed Woodpecker
Alden Miller The Condor, March-April 1943

Early Record for the Ivory-Billed Woodpecker in Kentucky
Daniel McKinley Wilson Bulletin, October-December 1948

Frederic Kennard The Auk, January-March 1915
The French Ambassador presents his case for surrender to Islamist CAIR

Gotta love this photo from CSPAN's webpage this morning

The French ambassador will explain how the Muslim riots in France can be addressed to the Council on American Islamic Relation, via the National Press Club.

If you are unfamiliar with CAIR, they are presented by the very naive media (or rather agenda driven) as the Muslim Civil Rights org for the US. But.... they have been active/associated with drives to create an Islamic government right here in the US of A. And the French ambassador is being hosted by them to explain how France intends to Surrender FURTHER......

If it wasn't so pathetic, it would be humorous. Freedom fries anyone?

For more info, check out Daniel Pipes and his article here.......

CAIR: 'Moderate' friends of terror

Trackbacks The Political Teen , The Florida Masochist , Don Surber , Third world County , Choose Life , Conservative Cat , Right Wing Nation

Sunday, November 20, 2005

"Moderate" Khatami agrees fully with Ahmadinejad’s stance on Israel

"Iran’s former President Mohammad Khatami, a mid-ranking cleric dubbed a “moderate” by the West, defended the hard-line stance of his successor Mahmoud Ahmadinejad against the state of Israel, a semi-official daily wrote in a front-page headline on Saturday."

From Iran Focus

WAKE UP America, WAKE UP World...... Iran is/has been a grave danger

Go to Regime Change Iran for another great site...

Visit the Political Teen

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Map-Presidential election of 1880 in Missouri

I know everyone wanted to know what happened in that race between Garfield and Hancock. But it was a statistical tie in the popular vote

More info.......GO HERE

Greenback Labor Party nomination (the Reform Party of 1880)
Dissatisfied with the fiscal policies of both parties, the Greenback Labor Party, a minor force in the 1876 election, returned with James Baird Weaver from Iowa as its Presidential nominee and Benjamin Chambers as his running mate.

Re-elect Senator Jim Talent

As you know, Senator Talent faces reelection in 06, here's a good profile of what makes him so great.


Talent for Senate website
Frenchman Johnny Depp is concerned about his brave land

Hollywood star JOHNNY DEPP is so shocked by the riots raging through France, he's considering abandoning his home in the country.

"I went there (to France) to live because it seemed so simple.
"Now it's anything but. I don't know how they'll recover from this."

Ha, Poor Johnny

Visit the Political Teen

Friday, November 18, 2005

Crazy wedding photo, blogger on the left, cousin on the right, bride
hiding due to the inanity
September 20 2003
Clark Mountain is Listed on the Malkin blog!

this is Fun

Remember.... If Bush lied over Iraq, then GOOGLE it

TRACKBACK to the most excellent Malkin blog, which is must read material.

Oh yeah, tonight the Dems lost it even further in the House.
Partially colorized photo of Abraham Lincoln's 2nd Inaugural
Colorized Photo of Union soldiers at the table
Before and after
Flooding Causes Problems in Piedmont
(Home of Clark Mountain Musings)
13 Families Evacuated, Schools Closed, Roads Flooded

Wayne County Journal-Banner
Thursday, November 17 2005

For weeks, area residents have complained about the lack of rain. Monday night, Wayne County re­ceived more rain than it could handle. According to the National Weather Service in Paducah, Ky., parts of the county received over 10 inches of rain. The majority of Wayne County got five to eight inches. It started to rain late Mon­day morning. The downpour con­tinued throughout the day and night and into Tuesday.
"This situation reminded us of the flood of 1982,*' said Mayor Gaylon Watson. "The water rose so quickly. We received the ma­jority of the rain within a four to five hour time frame. When we have flooding, it always seems to happen in the dark."
The torrential downpour caused area streams to overflow their banks. Roads were flooded. Many residents in the Piedmont area were forced from their homes in the middle of the night when McKenzie Creek overflowed its banks. Classes at Clearwater R-l School were cancelled Tuesday. Rep. Rod Jetton's Transportation Summit, which was to be held Tuesday evening in Fredericktown, was cancelled due to flooding in the area.
"It was a long night," said Piedmont Police Chief Richard Sanders. "I began watching McKenzie Creek at 2 a.m. We
started our first series of evacua­tions around 3 a.m. Our first prob­lem area was East Fir and First Street."
Mayor Watson said that city officials were in constant contact throughout the night. Officer Alien Berner called Watson every 30 minutes updating him on the situation within the city.
Hardest hit was Faith Family Worship Center on Fir Street. The church had about three feet of flood water inside the building. The sanctuary, fellowship hall, and offices all sustained water damage.
Members of the congregation gathered at the church late Tues­day morning to begin the cleanup effort. Workers loaded metal fold­ing chairs into the back of a pickup. They were taken to a lo­cal car wash where the mud was hosed away.
"We can't do a lot until the (in­surance) adjuster gets here," said Rev. Wayne Street.
A large wooden storage shed that sat adjacent to the church was washed into the stream. The build­ing became lodged on the Elm Street bridge.
"We will wait till the water subsides and try to wench the building out of the stream," said one member of the congregation. "We believe we can salvage it."
Water lapped at the doors of Turnbough Building Supply. All entrances to the business were sandbagged. According to Chief Sanders, at the height of flooding, water was 16 inches up on the store's front door.
"Some water seeped through the bags and into the building," Sanders said. "It wasn't much. They were able to suck it up with a shop vac and open for business as usual."
Workers with the Piedmont Police Department, Poplar Bluff Regional Medical Center's ambu­lance service, and Piedmont fire­men evacuated residents. Harvest Baptist Church and the Wayne County Community Building were opened to serve as shelters*
"We evacuated the family across from the (Faith Family) church," Sanders explained. "Four other families in the (Fir and First streets) area evacuated on their own. After we finished there, we moved to Montgomery Subdivision. There was flooding in some areas there. We eyacu-ated people from three places there. Five families left on their own. The rest of the Montgom­ery Subdivision residents decided to stay in their homes."
The evacuation efforts were not limited to just people. Fear­ing that vehicles would flood, of­ficers moved the vehicles at Jerry Campbell's used car lot.
According to Sanders, flood waters topped all three of the city's bridges. The only bridge within the city limits that re­mained free of flood water was the state's bridge on Highway 34 near Reyes Minit Mart. '
McKenzie Creek jumped its banks near Tex Barnes Insurance Agency. According to Chief Sanders, the flood waters ran down a closed alley that runs par­allel to Main Street.
"We know that McKenzie Creek will flood again," Watson said. "It isn't a matter of if but,
rather, a matter of when. We're very lucky. The damage we re­ceived this time was minimal compared to what it could have been. I believe this is because of the city's flood buyout program. We've purchased 109 homes and three businesses that were located in the flood plain. This shows that the program works. Damage throughout the city was limited to only a few places."
The city also sustained dam­age to various streets and facili­ties. Mayor Watson said it would take about a month to clean up from the flooding. He said the cleanup process will be costly.
"Nothing major was broken," Watson said. "It is a combination of small things. We have streets and curbs that will have to be re­paired."
Western District Commis­sioner Bud Snyder said that many county roads sustained substan­tial damage. The force of the wa­ter washed large ditches across many roads. Culvert pipes were unearthed. A few roads were im­passable by two-wheel drive ve­hicles.
Highway 34 east of Patterson near the St. Francis River was closed for a few hours due to the rising flood waters. High water also closed Highway N in Patterson for a short period of time.
Clearwater R-l Superinten­dent Blane Keel said that school was closed for two reasons, flooded roads and a water prob­lem at the middle school. Leaves and debris clogged a drain near the middle school, causing a half inch of water to back up to the school's doorway. Classes re­opened Wednesday morning; buses ran blacktop roads only.
The Federalist Patriot Founders' Quote Daily

"Liberty is not to be enjoyed, indeed it cannot exist, without the habits of just subordination; it consists, not so much in removing all restraint from the orderly, as in imposing it on the violent."

-- Fisher Ames

(Essay on Equality, 15 December 1801)

Reference: Works of Fisher Ames, W. B. Allen, ed., vol. 1 (256)

Thursday, November 17, 2005

McKenzie Creek flowing fast, flowing hard
Mother Teresa's Letter to the US Supreme Court on Roe v. Wade

But in a uniquely courageous and inspiring way, America has kept faith.

Yet there has been one infinitely tragic and destructive departure from those American ideals in recent memory. It was this Court's own decision in Roe v. Wade (1973) to exclude the unborn child from the human family. You ruled that a mother, in consultation with her doctor, has broad discretion, guaranteed against infringement by the United States Constitution, to choose to destroy her unborn child.

Your opinion stated that you did not need to “resolve the difficult question of when life begins.” That question is inescapable. If the right to life in an inherent and inalienable right, it must surely exist wherever life exists.

No one can deny that the unborn child is a distinct being, that it is human, and that it is alive. It is unjust, therefore, to deprive the unborn child of its fundamental right to life on the basis of its age, size, or condition of dependency.It was a sad infidelity to America's highest ideals when this Court said that it did not matter, or could not be determined, when the inalienable right to life began for a child in its mother's womb.

German supreme court decision on abortion

A contrast to Roe v. Wade

The German Supreme Court tackled the issue of abortion two years after Roe v. Wade, affirming that the unborn have a right to life guaranteed by the constitution, that abortion is "an act of killing", and that the unborn child deserves legal protection throughout its development. The decision is an instructive contrast to Roe because it cuts across the usual categories, and cannot be described as "liberal" or "conservative".
Barbara Boxer, a novel defender of "endangered children"

Snippet taken from NRO's John Miller's Review of CA-Senator Barbara Boxer's new novel "A Time to Run".
In the novel, the most vociferous supporter in the US Senate of Abortion on demand at any time for any reason (and of course abortion means taking unborn babies' lives... correct?, no other way to put it, so that means they are the MOST endangered of children, correct?) writes this..............

"That was a defining moment, when (Senator) Ellen knew how she'd spend the rest of her life — that she'd been put here on earth to save its endangered children."

The main character (of the book) is a Senator who "courageously" fights a Pro-Life Supreme Court nominee, hence the reference to "saving" children by making certain Roe v Wade remains our chief scripture.

Such SAD blindness, so you save children by ending their lives?

The Political Teen, visit

Stop the ACLU, visit
The Cost of Faith

DIYARBAKIR, Turkey -- With its simple wooden Crucifix, rows of Bibles and pastel-colored seats, it looks like a normal church. Until the singing starts, that is. In the small band behind the altar, guitars are outnumbered by saz -- long-necked Anatolian lutes. "Let's praise the Lord with our voices," the congregation sings. "Let's praise the Lord with our saz."


VISIT the Political Teen LINK
NIGHTLINES as recorded by The Federalist Patriot

Jay Leno... Republican Senator Charles Grassley has asked the oil companies to use some of the billions of dollars of profit they've made recently to help poor people buy home heating oil. That's when you know you're making too much money. When Republicans start noticing. ... The oil companies said they would like to help the poor people but they need all that money to buy more senators. ...

Democrat Senator Jon Corzine won the Governor's race in New Jersey, despite the fact that his ex-wife attacked him in TV ads. He was also accused of having a number of affairs. So at least he's a traditional Democrat. ...

The CIA is investigating who leaked the story that they have secret prisons in Europe. They are furious and say if they find the person who did it, they will send them to a secret prison Europe.

French police are claiming they have things under control pointing out that three nights ago 1,500 cars were set on fire and two nights ago 600 cars were torched but last night only 400 cars were destroyed. Does that sound like things are under control? Sounds more like they're running out of cars. ... France said today they are going to deport all those foreigners who rioted. You know what that means? France is finally going to send people to Iraq!

Bill Clinton and Hillary are in Israel. That's what the Mideast needs—two more people who are fighting over there.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Saudi jailed for discussing the Bible

A court sentenced a teacher to 40 months in prison and 750 lashes for "mocking religion" after he discussed the Bible and praised Jews, a Saudi newspaper reported yesterday.

Al-Madina newspaper said secondary-school teacher Mohammad al-Harbi, who will be flogged in public, was taken to court by his colleagues and students.

He was charged with promoting a "dubious ideology, mocking religion, saying the Jews were right, discussing the Gospel and preventing students from leaving class to wash for prayer," the newspaper said.

With friends like these..... (the House of Saud and Wahab...) Every time we fill up our tank we support more of this.... When will enough be enough?

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Our very own "Fisher Creek" flowing, which is a rarity indeed, its just as angry as McKenzie Creek, but lacks the watershed size.

Panorama of McKenzie Creek, taken Nov 15 2005.

Another shot of flowing McKenzie Creek. There was a large amount of precip last night (obviously).

At the manmade dam.

Surging McKenzie Creek.

Angry McKenzie Creek... who brought the kayaks?

McKenzie Creek at high stage, Lon Sanders Canyon.

Unnamed Stream at high flow in bw.

The same stream flowing on its way to McKenzie Creek in Lon Sanders Canyon.

After several inches of rainfall, a small unnamed stream near Canyon Creek Golf Course flows over the county road.

Monday, November 14, 2005

It's Open Birdline Monday!
Special Focus, large woodpeckers, The imperiled Imperial Woodpecker of the western sierras of Mexico.

The Imperial Woodpecker (Campephilus imperialis) in northern Sonora

Robert Ridgeway The Auk, April-June 1887

The Imperial Woodpecker (Campephilus imperialis)

EW Wilson The Auk, July 1898

Destruction of Imperial Woodpeckers

Austin Paul Smith The Condor, March-April 1908

The Decline and Present Status of the Imperial Woodpecker of Mexico

James Tanner The Auk January 1964

Old Friend Missing

Matt Mendenhall Birder's World, December 2005


This is very very sweet!

SORA Searchable Ornithological Research Archive

Auk (1884-1999) -->Condor (1899-2000) -->Journal of Field Ornithology (1930-1999) -->North American Bird Bander (1976-2000) -->Pacific Coast Avifauna (1900-1974) -->Studies in Avian Biology (1978-1999) -->Wilson Bulletin (1889-1999) -->

The Gyrfalcon

Another very engaging book on my wish list
Bobby Harrison
Natural History, September 2005
It had a long neck, and the head--it had a red topknot that came to point, and it had a big white bill--it looked real cartoonish." Gene Sparling, a kayaker from Hot Springs, Arkansas, was on the phone, eagerly describing his encounter with a woodpecker on February 11, 2004, in the Arkansas bottomlands. Sparling had been kayaking on the bayou when the bird "flew overhead and landed on a cypress tree less than seventy feet in front of me." He thought he had seen a "superlarge" pileated woodpecker, "with white in the wrong places." But every feature he described seemed to fit another bird, the ivory-billed woodpecker, a bird many people thought had gone extinct in the mid-twentieth century. When he said "cartoonish," goose bumps popped up on my arms, and the little bit of hair I still have on my head stood on end. I had never heard anyone use the word "cartoonish" to describe an ivory-bill, but it was perfect.
That was the moment I began to think Gene's superlarge pileated might instead be the ghost bird I had sought for more than three decades. At the time of Gene's call, I had already been preparing to check out a lead on an ivory-bill sighting in Louisiana. Now Arkansas was looking like a better destination.
Eleven months earlier, another report had come in about a bird in Arkansas whose description matched that of the ivory-bill. That bird, from the White River National Wildlife Refuge, was reportedly a large black woodpecker with a prominent white shield on its lower back. The shield was divided into two parts, as if the wings were held slightly apart to reveal a black back underneath. The crest was red. But the sighting, like Gene's, was similar in another respect to a host of such sightings in the past few decades--they were always made by a single individual, with no corroborating witness. In other words, there was no proof that the bird they saw was really an ivory-bill.
I e-mailed Tim Gallagher, longtime editor of Cornell University's Living Bird magazine and a friend of mine for almost twenty years, my plans had changed, I told him, and I was going to Arkansas. His curt reply: "Pick me up in Memphis. I'm going with you."
The ivory-billed woodpecker once ranged over a wide swath of the southeastern United States, from the Carolinas westward to Houston, Texas, and as far north as southern Illinois, as well as in Cuba. For a woodpecker, it had an unusual way of grasping a tree--it would place both feet wide apart and then brace itself with its long, recurved tail as it pounded the bark with both beak and body. A series of such thumps, delivered sideways from left and right, would loosen the bark to uncover the larvae of wood-boring beetles that made up the bulk of the ivorybill's diet.
The colorful scarlet crest of the male and its cream-colored bill made ivorybill heads popular adornments on the headgear of the Native Americans. When Europeans arrived, they too became enamored of the birds' decorative value. In the early nineteenth century, the killing of ivory-bills increased dramatically, primarily because of demand for the heads as curiosities. By 1901 a law was passed to prohibit such "collecting," but by then the species was facing an even more difficult challenge: the loss of habitat as a result of unchecked logging. In 1942 the American ornithologist James T. Tanner, who conducted extensive research and the only field study ever done of the ivory-bill, concluded that habitat loss, rather than collecting, posed the greatest obstacle to the continued existence of the bird. "Shooting of a few birds," Tanner wrote, could serve only as "the final cause for their extinction." By his estimate, only twenty-four of the birds remained.
Soon after Tanner published his study, the birds were thought to have gone extinct in the U.S. By mid-century, visitors to the cypress swamps and pine forests of the Southeast no longer heard the distinct call of the ivory-bill (which sounded like the blasts of a toy trumpet) or its unique double knocks as it slammed its beak and body against the bark. (You can hear the ivory-bill on the Web [ archivesdate/2002/march/]. Scroll down and click on "Listen to the only known recording of ivory-billed woodpeckers, captured in 1935 in a forested area of Louisiana known as the Singer Tract.") In 1948 the Singer Tract, where Tanner did much of his fieldwork, was cleared of its stands of trees, and apparently of its ivory-bills, for agriculture. Only sporadic sightings of ivory-bills in Cuba were made after that, the last of those in 1987. The last positive sighting in the U.S. took place in 1944. No one wanted to believe the birds were gone for good, but no one could prove otherwise.
Nine days after Gene filled me in on his sighting, Tim and I were in a canoe in the Cache River National Wildlife Refuge in east-central Arkansas, on Bayou DeView, following Gene through a narrow strip of swamp that spanned only half a mile in its widest spots, where he had spotted his mystery bird. On our second day in the bayou, February 27, we began to see some very large cypress trees.
We spent the morning drifting down the bayou, looking for signs of feeding by ivory-bills and, of course, for ivory-bills themselves. By noon I was ready for lunch; portly people like me prefer our meals on time. With a few powerful strokes, Gene pulled ahead to find dry land for a lunch break. As Tim and I drifted slowly downstream, we scrutinized every bird we saw. At the end of a large lake, we re-entered the main slough and made a turn to the southwest.
About 200 feet down the slough, at about 1:15 P.M., I saw a black bird, larger than a crow, perhaps twenty inches long. Appearing about forty degrees off the starboard bow, it was in powered flight, moving toward us through the trees. With my peripheral vision I detected that Tim was looking at the same bird, so initially I said nothing. It was flying like a duck--fast, with shallow, rapid wing beats. In fact, it reminded me of a pintail duck in the way its primaries, the ten outermost feathers of the wing, seemed to do all the flying. The inner portion of the wing hardly moved at all, yet the primaries seemed to quiver, making the wing look stiff and inflexible. I am an experienced birder, yet I had never seen such a bird before.
As the bird flew through the trees at the bayou's edge, it tilted its body from right to left about eighty degrees, with its back toward us. The light was at an angle that perfectly illuminated the bird's back, revealing the wing pattern diagnostic of an ivory-billed woodpecker: The bird was the blackest black I had ever seen. The body and the leading edge of each wing close to the body was a soft black. The primary feathers were also black, but had a gloss to them. The secondaries--the feathers closest to the body on the trailing edge of the wing--were snow white; the white extended beyond the secondaries into the three innermost primaries at an angle of about forty-five degrees. The pattern made the wings appear long and narrow. The black back of the bird separated the two wings from each other. The bird was unmistakably an ivory-billed woodpecker.
As the bird turned to reveal its back, Tim and I both shouted, in unison: "Ivory-bill!"
Both of us were in a state of shock. We jerked backward, and I began trembling; we almost fell out of the canoe from our reaction. Meantime, the bird swooped upward and flared its wings and tail as if it was going to land on a nearby tree. When Tim and I yelled "ivory-bill," the bird almost stalled in flight. In an instant it recovered, flying farther into the tree line on the east side of the bayou. It landed on a tree, still within easy sight. After a brief pause, it stopped momentarily on another tree. I whispered to Tim, "Keep watching it; I'm getting the camera." As Tim watched, the bird landed on yet another tree, again for only a second. Then it was gone.
Quickly we hauled the canoe ashore and began to follow on foot, but the muck and mire made a chase on land impossible. Two hundred feet into the forest, our bird had vanished. But Tim and I were still in shock. Tears were streaming down my face, and I was weak in the knees. Tim likewise moved nervously, his skin as white as if the blood had been drained from his body. With a trembling voice he said, "I don't know about you, but that's a lifer for me." We laughed, and then I realized we had just become the first two qualified people since 1944 to see an ivory-billed woodpecker at the same time. When we got back to the canoe I sat down on a log, put my head in my hands, and began to weep, saying over and over, "I saw an ivory-bill, I saw an ivory-bill."
As I sat there, I realized that perhaps all those who had claimed to have seen it would now be vindicated. Emotion overwhelmed me--the phantom bird had been rediscovered. This time two people had seen it together. The phantom was not extinct, but very real and very much alive.
Our sighting launched a U.S. search of unprecedented intensity, leading to more than fifteen additional sightings and a pair of videos that support the contention that the ivory-billed woodpecker is not extinct.
That is not to say there are not unbelievers. A recent news article on the front page of The New York Times titled, "Mystery Woodpecker Flies By, Upending Life of a Bird Lover," outlined the critics' complaints. One argument is that the first video, made by M. David Luneau Jr., an associate professor of electronics and computers at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, on April 25, 2004, is not absolutely clear, at least not to the average viewer.
You may not be able to draw a portrait from any of its frames, but what do show absolutely clearly in Luneau's video are the body and wing proportions of a bird in flight, the number of wing beats, and the consistency of white in the trailing edge of the wings. Those characteristics rule out the possibility that the bird on the video was another, similar bird, such as the lesser pileated woodpecker.
Another common objection is that repeated sightings must take place, with all possible field markings recorded. Most ornithologists who are familiar with ivory-bills base their knowledge on Tanner's monumental work. Yet Tanner observed only eight pairs of birds between 1937 and 1939, and his study was conducted in a forest tract where hunting had not been permitted for more than fifteen years. The birds there were relatively tame and very vocal. Ornithologists who read Tanner's account expect ivory-bills surviving into the twenty-first century to have the same traits.
Earlier descriptions such as the ones given in articles in The Auk, The Wilson Bulletin, and The Oologist, however, suggested ivory-bill behavior was a little more diverse. Numerous accounts tell of the ivory-bill's wariness, its facility in hiding, and its reluctance to call. Why the discrepancy? Birds that were hunted avoided humans. Birds that lived in areas where hunting did not occur, such as the birds in Louisiana's Singer Tract, where Tanner conducted the bulk of his study, were unafraid. Ivory-bills that were docile and vociferous fill museum specimen cases around the world; the ones that were wary and less vocal survived to pass on those genetic traits. The ivory-bills in eastern Arkansas are the wariest creatures I have ever encountered.
The reason the ivory-bill is not seen regularly is no doubt that the bird has such a large home range. According to Tanner, ivory-bills need six square miles of suitable habitat per bird. The area where Tim and I discovered the bird is not prime habitat, so the home range of the bird we saw must be greater than six square miles.
After our initial sighting on February 27, I spent another fourteen months in the swamp searching for ivory-bills and trying to document my successes. During that period I had four more encounters with the ghost bird. Three of my sightings have been within 400 feet of one another. Nevertheless, that does not indicate a pattern to the bird's movements or a predictability in finding it, because the sightings were months apart.
During one of my encounters, on September 4, 2004, I managed to capture an ivory-bill on video; as of this writing, that recording of the bird has not been widely released. Although it is brief and of poor quality, it shows an ivory-bill flying past a decoy that I had placed on a tupelo tree to attract a living counterpart. The bird is seen flying away from the camera at an angle of about forty-five degrees. Although the bird is behind foliage throughout most of the video, it is visible in an opening just before it passes out of the frame. Frame-by-frame images bring out the wing pattern of an ivory-billed woodpecker.
During the flyby, which lasts just a quarter second, the wings flap three and a half times, or roughly fourteen beats a second. In real time the wing beat appears to have a shallow range of movement, but the actual stroke is deep, covering an angle of at least 120 degrees. A frequency of fourteen wing beats a second explains why the wing movements I have seen appear rapid and shallow when the bird is in powered flight, and the high frequency also accounts for the description in the historical literature of the ivory-bill's pintail-like flight. Fourteen beats a second is too fast for the eye to see, so fast that the wings appear to quiver instead of flap. The movement creates the illusion of a shallow range of movement during powered flight. The video also shows a second flyby, thirty-three seconds after the first one, suggesting that the ivorybill was responding to the decoy.
Even before making the video, I had spent much of the summer of 2004 in the swamp, coping with scorching heat and swarms of mosquitoes. Yet, despite the discomforts, I was happy to be there, because on June 9, 2004, the misery paid off. On that date I saw an ivorybill swoop from one tree to another, a distance of sixty-eight feet. Its wings were extended, and never flapping.
I had a clear view of the bird from behind as it swooped upward to land. The white secondaries of each wing were clearly visible, separated by the black back of the bird, and they reached all the way to the trailing edge of the wings. I could easily see the bird's black tail, back, neck, nape, and crown. The nape came to a point and seemed to have a tonal value darker than the neck and crown. A female? That was my first thought. If so, it is the first evidence of a living female, and it signals the possible existence of a breeding pair. But finding a roost and nest will be the only sure way to tell whether Bayou DeView shelters a burgeoning population of ivory-bills.
One thing is certain, though. Somehow, the phantom bird has squeezed through the species bottleneck wrought by humanity. Extensive logging and collecting challenged the ancestors of every one of the ivory-billed woodpeckers that is out there today. My own belief is that the ancestors of the current birds got through the bottleneck because they were wary and less vocal than their peers, whose distinctive sounds gave away their positions as clearly as if they had been located by a GPS satellite. The quieter ivory-bills retreated to darkened corners of the remaining bottomland, keeping their songs to themselves. In so doing, their descendants have genetically continued the toned-down performance, enabling them to live on unnoticed for more than half a century.
BOBBY R. HARRISON is a lifelong chaser of the ivory-billed woodpecker, a birder, and a noted bird photographer. He is an associate professor and the director of the art program in the Department of Communications at Oakwood College in Huntsville, Alabama.
COPYRIGHT 2005 Natural History Magazine, Inc.COPYRIGHT 2005 Gale Group

Return of the eagle owl casts a giant shadow

Nov 14 2005

The world's biggest owl is secretly and successfully breeding in Britain after an absence of hundreds of years, conservationists disclosed yesterday.

The eagle owl is knee-high to a human, has a 6ft wingspan and weighs nearly 9lb. The first footage of a pair of wild eagle owls and their chicks in Britain will be shown on television on Wednesday.


Tuesday, November 08, 2005

2004 Overhead photo of Piedmont, Missouri. Home of Clark Mountain Musings.

2004 Overhead photo of The Nature Conservancy operated Dunn Ranch Tallgrass Prairie preserve.

2004 Overhead photo of Pawnee Prairie, a tallgrass prairie in Northwest Missouri.
More Mark Steyn

From latest issue of National Review

Meanwhile, Back in the Real World . . .

Suppose a guy yells “Fire!” in a crowded theater, and the audience hisses back, “Shh! We’re in the middle of a play about how Bush engaged in a massive conspiracy to use a small chimney fire as a pretext for burning down some other theater three years ago.” That’s pretty much what happened the other week. The president of Iran announced that Israel “must be wiped off the map” — and the entire capital city of the world’s hyperpower hissed back, “Shh! Patrick Fitzgerald’s about to indict Scooter Libby!”

Insofar as I understand the Left’s three-year investment in Joseph C. Wilson IV, it’s that the selfless patriot exposed the Bush administration’s rationale for the war — Saddam’s WMD — as a lie cooked up by a cabal of sinister neocon warmongers (Clinton, Gore, Kerry, etc). Just for the record, WMD was never my rationale. As I’ve said on many occasions, when it comes to toppling dictators, there’s no such thing as an “illegitimate” rationale. In his obstruction of U.N. weapons inspectors, Saddam certainly acted as if he had WMD and, in his “trade” missions to Niger (principal exports: uranium, goats, cowpeas, and onions), as if he were eager to acquire more. There’s something to be said for taking a chap at his word.

Anyway, we now have a chance to go through the whole rigmarole with another four-letter Middle Eastern Muslim country beginning with the letters “I-r-a.” Same great runaround, new closing consonant. President Ahmadinejad made his wiping-off-the-map remarks during a conference called “A World Without Zionism,” so it seems unlikely this was one of those subtle nuances lost in translation. Furthermore, in the final round of last June’s presidential election, both candidates were eager to annihilate the Zionist Entity — Mr. Ahmadinejad’s opponent, Hashemi Rafsanjani, having declared that Israel is “the most hideous occurrence in history” which the Muslim world “will vomit out from its midst” with “a single atomic bomb.” So wiping Israel off the map would appear to be one of those rare points of bipartisan consensus, as unexceptional as coming out in favor of motherhood and apple pie.

Indeed President Ahmadinejad, speaking a couple of days later at a “Death to Israel” rally, couldn’t see what all the fuss was about. Nor could his rival, Mr. Rafsanjani, who pointed out, “Even in Europe, the majority of the population is strongly critical of Israel, but they are afraid to express their views.” Judging from the BBC’s website, only the first half of that sentence is true. Here’s what the Beeb’s viewers and listeners had to say: “Is this story true? The current American regime is expert at creating faked excuses for military and political action. The WMD scam in Iraq for example.” “I’m not sure it’s any worse than what Bush said about Iraq, and at least Ahmedinejad is using only words, not bombs.”

“According to BBC, this type of comment is commonly made by Iranian politicians. If so, we need to understand this in context.” “Iran’s Prime minister said ‘Israel should be wiped off the map’. How do we know that he wasn’t referring to a peaceful arrangement for Israel to give land back to Palestine rather than a violent threat?” How indeed? Well, maybe one way to find out is to look at the rest of the speech: “We are in the process of a historical war between the World of Arrogance [the West] and the Islamic world. . . . Is it possible for us to witness a world without America and Zionism?

You had best know that this slogan and this goal is attainable, and surely can be achieved.” So, this isn’t just the usual itsy-bitsy wipe-Israel-off-the-face-of-the-earth boilerplate that Nasser was doing 40 years ago. The Europeans may be indifferent to the incineration of the Zionists but they surely can’t be as relaxed about meeting the same fate themselves. The president’s chief strategist, Hassan Abbasi, has come up with a war plan based on the premise that “Britain is the mother of all evils” — the evils being America, Australia, New Zealand, Israel, the Gulf states, and even Canada, all of whom are the malign progeny of the British Empire. “We have a strategy drawn up for the destruction of Anglo-Saxon civilization,” says Mr. Abbassi.

“There are 29 sensitive sites in the U.S. and in the West. We have already spied on these sites and we know how we are going to attack them. . . . Once we have defeated the Anglo-Saxons, the rest will run for cover.” Iran isn’t an impoverished joke-state basketcase like Sierra Leone. It’s a major regional power. What should we do? Take them at their word? Or apply the Democrat-media-CIA test and wait till we’ve got absolute definitive 100 percent proof that they’ve got WMD — the absolute definitive 100 percent proof being a smoking crater where Tel Aviv used to be, or maybe London.

The contrast between the Iranian president’s speeches and the worthless piffle of a Beltway non-scandal is very telling — or would be if the parochial U.S. media had any interest in covering it. How can even the dreariest press in the English-speaking world maintain their interest in the third year of Joe Wilson’s 15 minutes? What a pitiful spectacle. If they’ve a sense of humor, the Iranians will time the mushroom cloud for the first day of the Bush-Cheney impeachment trial.

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Early skirmish in the Eurabian civil war

More from Mark Steyn.......

According to its Office du Tourisme, the big event in Evreux this past weekend was supposed to be the annual fête de la pomme, du cidre et du fromage at the Place de la Mairie. Instead, in this charmingly smouldering cathedral town in Normandy, a shopping mall, a post office, two schools, upwards of 50 vehicles and, oh yes, the police station were destroyed by - what's the word? - "youths".


Monday, November 07, 2005

From "The Cross-Bearer: A Vision" Entry II

Published by The American Tract Society, 1861

Chapter I The Model Cross-Bearer

The Suffering Son of God
O Sacred Brow! though unbelief
Discovers not thy majesty
Beneath that veil of shame and grief;
Its glory still unchanged I see.
Thy visage marred beyond compare,
Yet beauteous to my eye appears;
Those features heaven's own image bear,
Even though defiled with blood and tears.
Nor, through the unending heavenly day,
However great its splendors are,
More glory will that face display,
Than now its pallid features wear.
Even there in beauty's own domain,
The eye shall ne'er such beauty see;
Such glory as adorned thy train
When going up to Calvary
Ye angels, who with equal love
The Father and the Son adore;
Fulfilling in the courts above
Your ministry forevermore;
Ye mighty seraphs near his throne,
Think ye the Incarnate Mystery
Has ever with such radiance shone
As on the hill of Calvary?
The work of sacrifice below
There crowned the heaven-descended Word;
The shame of Mary's Son is now
The glory of the Son of God.
My name is Love, the Father said;--
Jesus replied, when from above
Descended, on the cross he bled
I am thy Son; I too am Love.
And very God and Love is He,
The God through whom our God gives grace,
The God we love, the God we see;
Uniting God with Adams race.
Where then is glory to be found?
Here, here, upon this shameful tree,
Where heaven's King, a victim bound,
Is made a sacrifice for me.
For, Love is highest excellence;
The source of all the joys above;
'Tis stronger than Omnipotence,
And Jesus' richest crown is Love.
How vain the honors men possess,
The honors of the loftiest state!
And heaven and earth alike confess
That charity alone is great
Wake up, Europe, you've a war on your hands

Mark Steyn, one of my favorite writers and he is so right here.

"The Eurabian civil war appears to have started some years ahead of my optimistic schedule. As Thursday's edition of the Guardian reported in London: ''French youths fired at police and burned over 300 cars last night as towns around Paris experienced their worst night of violence in a week of urban unrest.''


Definition of Eurabia

Eurabia is a term coined by Bat Ye'or to describe an alleged process of political and cultural incorporation of Europe into the Islamic world, supposedly accompanied by a demographic change from a predominately Caucasian Christian population embodying Western Civilization to a predominately Semitic Islamic population
Archaeologists Uncover Oldest Church in Holy Land

"The archaeological world is buzzing with news of a major find in Israel. The discovery is being hailed by Christian leaders, who see it as an affirmation of the faith.

Israeli archaeologists have uncovered the ruins of a third- or fourth-century church in northern Israel, which they believe could be the oldest ever found in the Holy Land. The church contains a well-preserved mosaic, with references to Jesus Christ and images of fish - an ancient Christian symbol.

"This find is once in a lifetime," Chief archaeologist Yotam Tefer told VOA. "It is very, very exciting."

More Coverage

Washington Times story


Chicago Sun-Times


The Telegraph

Sunday, November 06, 2005

From "The Cross-Bearer: A Vision" Entry I

Published by The American Tract Society, 1861

Chapter I The Model Cross-Bearer

Behold the Man
O Sacred head, now wounded,
With grief and scorn weighed down!
O sacred brow, surrounded
With thorns, thy only crown!
Once on a throne of glory,
Adorned with light devine;
Now, all despised and gory;
I joy to call thee mine.
O noblest brow, and dearest,
In other days the world
All feared when thou appearedst;
What shame on thee is hurled!
How art thou pale with anguish,
With sore abuse and scorn;
How does that visage languish,
Which once was bright as morn!
On me, as thou art dying,
Oh, turn thy pitying eye!
To thee for mercy crying,
Before thy cross I lie.
Thine, thine the bitter passion,
Thy pain is all for me;
Mine, mine the deep transgression,
My sins are all on thee.
What language can I borrow,
To thank thee, dearest friend,
For all thy dying sorrow,
Off all my woes, the end?
Then can I leave thee ever?
Oh, do not thou leave me!
Lord, let me never, never
Outlive my love to thee.
If I a wretch should leave thee,
O Jesus, leave not me;
In faith may I receive thee,
When death shall set me free;
When strength and comfort languish,
And I must hence depart,
Release me then from anguish
By thy own wounded heart.
Be near me when I'm dying;
Oh! show thy cross to me.
And for my succor flying,
Come, Lord, and set me free.
This heart, new faith receiving,
From Jesus shall not rove;
For he who dies believing
Dies safely through thy love.
Visit the Political Teen for ALL your reviews of the Media age.

Moonbats on Parade

What is a moonbat?

"Moonbat is a political epithet coined in 2002 by Perry de Havilland of "The Libertarian Samizdata," a libertarian weblog. It was originally a play on the last name of George Monbiot, a columnist for The Guardian, but now the term enjoys great currency in the libertarian blogosphere as an all-purpose insult for modern liberals, peace protestors, and other ideological opponents. It is similar to the epithets Feminazi or Idiotarian. "

IE... Cindy Sheehan




With the win the Griffons become contenders for the NCAA D-II playoffs and hand Washburn their first MIAA loss and overcame a 14-point deficit.

St Joseph News-Press

Kansas City Star

Topeka Capitol Journal
Cruise ship thwarts pirates off Somalia

From the Washington Times this morning

Pirates firing rocket-propelled grenades and automatic weapons tried to hijack a U.S.-owned cruise ship yesterday off the East African coast, but the vessel carrying many American passengers escaped, its owners said. Two boats full of pirates approached the Seabourn Spirit about 100 miles off the Somali coast and opened fire, while the heavily armed bandits tried to get onboard

The anarchy in Somalia continues..... Interesting that the UN is ever so concerned about European structure or Asian structure for societies, too bad they have NO concern about Africa and governments (or lack thereof in the case of Somalia). Yeah, racism is dead, not really... Africa is still disregarded and the people suffer because of it. Pirates in 2005.........BTW, there are warnings against ships along Somalia, why was this ship there?

Other References to Piracy in Somlia

Stationary Bandit "Piracy in Somalia"

Somali Press

Saturday, November 05, 2005

Betis 1 Chelsea 0

Enough said.......
Champions League Play

Friday, November 04, 2005

History Today

Ronald Wilson Reagan

25 years ago today..... elected 40th President of the United States.

The 9th Circuit Court acts up again

“There is no fundamental right of parents to be the exclusive provider of information regarding sexual matters to their children”

From the US 9th Circuit Court of Appeals………….

Fields v. Palmdale School Dist.,