Not a single whitetail appeared on the upper trailcam Monday or Tuesday. The lower camera likewise was quiet after sunup yesterday. That’s to be expected — there’s a lot of room for them to roam on The Mountain and beyond, and in this dry year they have to move farther toward the bottoms to find water.
Rut is right around the corner, too.
I did get a pleasant surprise when I checked the camera feed this morning. Down near the homesite, a few minutes after midnight, two gray foxes showed up. That was cool to see.
Before 9am a trio of deer were back, moving upslope toward the summit and (presumably) down to the densely wooded east end of the property.
It rained this morning — no, seriously, for the first time in months we got actual precipitation. A line of thunderstorms swept through the area about 9:30am and it stayed wet here for a couple of hours. That didn’t end the drought, of course, nor was it enough to lift the burn bans, but it (literally) settled the dust.
Waiting out (most of) the rain meant a late start. We had no particular plan, just a pressing need to be on The Mountain. We spent a good bit of time chatting with Deb’s cousin, then ran the Ranger up the trail and lunched at our bench on the summit.
Autumn rains seem somehow to make the season’s colors even more vibrant. Morning clouds moved on and the sun came out, bringing us a cool, very windy and absolutely spectacular day.
It was all over the news yesterday that Tulsi Gabbard, once proclaimed a “rising star” in the Democrat party, is leaving that party. Her announcement, delivered via social media (natch), left no doubt about why she walked away:
“I can no longer remain in today’s Democratic Party that is now under the complete control of an elitist cabal of warmongers driven by cowardly wokeness, who divide us by racializing every issue and stoke anti-white racism, actively work to undermine our God-given freedoms, are hostile to people of faith and spirituality, demonize the police and protect criminals at the expense of law-abiding Americans, believe in open borders, weaponize the national security state to go after political opponents, and above all, dragging us ever closer to nuclear war.”
“I believe in a government that is of, by, and for the people. Unfortunately, today’s Democratic Party does not. Instead, it stands for a government of, by, and for the powerful elite. I’m calling on my fellow common sense independent-minded Democrats to join me in leaving the Democratic Party. If you can no longer stomach the direction that so-called woke Democratic Party ideologues are taking our country, I invite you to join me.”
I find that interesting — not at all shocking, because I’ve been paying attention to what she’s said since leaving office, nor what I’d call “seismic.” Gabbard didn’t declare affiliation with another party. I won’t overestimate the political effect of what she did.
I could argue that when I was a kid, Republicans and Democrats shared many of the same fundamental American values. There was a clear contrast between the parties’ paths to their stated ends, but there also was comity and, on many issues, opportunity for collaboration.
LBJ marked the beginning of the end. He laid the foundation for The Permanent Entitlement State and reanimated FDR’s totalitarian monster. Today, a half-century later, the un-American leftist fringe is mainstream.
Tulsi Gabbard is not, by any measure, a conservative — I mean, six years ago she endorsed Crazy Bernie for president. But she avows and lives by basic, traditional American values. She pledges fidelity to the Constitution. And though I’m sure I’ll oppose some of her positions, she’s the kind of person I can work with.
This is the phrase forming in my head:
We’re the same in different ways.
If we’re to restore America, that’s where it must begin. Purity be damned, save purity of principle and purity of purpose.
I find a parallel, perhaps an odd one, with the American Life that Deb and I are pursuing. Stay with me here.
Practically speaking, we’ll be homesteading. It’ll be a far simpler life than the one we left. No matter what, much will change.
There’s really no set of rules determining whether or not we’re doing that “right.” We’ll do it differently, I’m sure, than Deb’s cousin does. Our life won’t resemble that of the good ol’ boy at the end of the road or the transplanted Cajun down over the hill.
But out there in the sticks we’re the same. We’re different, yet hold the same basic values. We’re neighbors. To coin a phrase,
There’s more than one way to Country.
We’ll live our American Life, learning from family, friends and neighbors, and we’ll Country our way. I think that’ll work out just fine.
One year ago today, I wrote that “we barely outraced ten weeks’ accumulated fatigue to our destination.” That destination was The Ozarks — we’d returned to northern Arkansas after our whirlwind trip-of-a-lifetime to and from Glacier Park, Montana.
Take care of yourselves, Patriots. Stay calm. Stay sharp. Stay free.