When last week’s snow and ice melted away here at the campground, the grass underneath was green. The moss clinging to rocks on The Mountain is green. Unlike the winter landscape in the place we last called home, it never goes completely brown ’round here.

Daffodils will be up soon. It may be February, but this is Ozarkansas. This is The South.

Spring isn’t far off.

A damned good thing, too. We’re almost outta propane again.

Today, rain.

If you’re still geekin’ about the Chinese “spy balloon” — y’know, the one that ker-plunked in 50 feet of water six miles offshore — I have a few images you might find interesting. Deb and I captured all of these within a half-hour around noon yesterday, via FlightAware.

We tracked three aircraft executing repetitive grid-search patterns over land, all of ’em stretching inland from Surfside Beach, South Carolina, some miles west of where the balloon was reported to have been shot down Saturday afternoon.

Maybe that strikes you as odd. I’ll say that I find it curious. I suppose it’s possible that the balloon itself (the popped gas bag, that is) drifted in that direction with onshore winds near the surface.

Of the three aircraft we picked up, two were registered to a geo-intelligence contractor. The other was tagged “Portuguese Army.” (I swear I’m not making that up.) All rose near Georgetown, where there’s a re-purposed WWII-era airfield.

Later in the day we saw a USAF C-17 leave Joint Base Charleston and head toward Andrews, presumably loaded with recovered debris. Presumably.

We’ll never know the truth of this. We’ll never get all the facts. Hell, this regime and its military establishment have fabricated stories about similar incidents under the previous administration. I hope that doesn’t surprise you.

(The lies, I mean.)

Anyway, I’m simply presenting information here, not drawing conclusions. You can do that yourself.

We made it back to The Mountain this morning — Smudge, Deb and me. As we turned off the state route and onto the county road, That Familiar Feeling came over us. It’s the peace I’ve tried to describe here dozens of times and still fail to explain.

The puppy seemed to know exactly where she was, that famous herding-dog energy propelling her around the driveway and through piles of leaves at Deb’s cousin’s cabin. She showed remarkable attention to us, her loyalty on full display — not too shabby, considering that she came home with us just a month ago today.

Then it was on the road again, off to Midway for the all-important first appointment with our veterinarian. The good doctor poked and prodded the oh-so-relaxed Smudge, administered two vaccines and stepped back from the exam table.

“I want you to know that you have what I consider to be the perfect Heeler,” he declared. He praised her conformation and her personality and, with a wink, he urged us not to screw up a great dog.

“She’s just beautiful,” the vet said, smiling.

That was pretty cool.

If I were a member of Congress on the Right side of the aisle, I’d be attending tonight’s “State of The Union” address. I wouldn’t engage in the kind of meaningless protests we saw from piss-ant Democrats during the Trump years. I might not like it, but I’d be there because that’s my job.

I would, however, pay good money to see the current Speaker set Doctor Dementia’s speech transcript on fire when it’s over.

Deb and I are proud that our own governor, Sarah Huckabee Sanders — who’s to the right of most elected Republicans — will deliver the GOP response. That role thrusts her into the conversation as a potential candidate for POTUS, probably in 2028.

I hate to see that. We need successful, strong, Liberty-minded conservatives — Sarah, Kristi, DeSantis, Jordan, Cruz and others — to stay right where they are. That’s how we’ll rebuild and restore.

Tonight I may or may not watch the SOTU speech. Honestly, I have zero interest in listening to The Arsonist-in-Chief lie about putting out fires that he and his co-conspirators set. I will, however, tune-in to hear Sarah’s response.

Take care of yourselves, Patriots. Stay calm. Stay sharp. Stay free.

#WiseUp #LibertyOrDeath

#LetsGoBrandon #FJB

A bobcat dashed by the trailcam near the homesite yesterday, just before sundown.