This webpage is being called “Rural Thoughts.” We have lived in a very rural household in the very southeastern tip of Illinois for the last 26 years. But we do have access to what can almost be called an “urban” area - Paducah, Kentucky, plus Metropolis and Brookport, Illinois. But even our “urban” areas are pretty rural in character compared with the truly large metropolitan areas such as Chicago.
I want to start this by commenting on an interview that I heard part of this evening on NPR about how the republicans took over any number of state governments by directing relatively large sums of money into certain races and then used those majorities to control gerrymandering of the state's congressional districts which allowed them to take over congress. Democrats asleep at the switch. In many state's the total vote for all the congressional districts was clear democrat majority, but the republicans won 60 or more percent of the vote. Wow, democracy for the people.
I heard a wood thrush this morning and evening. Awesome. And the tanagers have been here doing territorial calls for several days. And, I saw an eastern kingbird on a wire near some openland on my way into town. So the migration has definitely progressed.
Since I am have written about politics, and national politics at that, more than anything, and I have been following the presidential races, I want to continue weighing in.
Today I heard a summer tanager and a what I am pretty sure was a Tennessee warbler. The summer tanager was singing it's song, not chipping. It was, no doubt, just passing through, as I heard it twice and then it was gone. The Tennessee warbler was making partial calls, which I thought sounded like a Tennessee warbler in tone and notes, but after it called a few times, it finally did a more complete call. I feel pretty certain it was a Tennessee warbler.
There's been a white eyed vireo here for two days. I'm not sure it is the same one, but I have heard it on different days. It's a migrant, well, what I mean is that it is going further north and just passing thru. I doubt if it is one that stops here and nests.
The afternoon after I heard the white-eyed vireo, I started hearing blue-gray gnatcatchers. But these are the only ones so far. I know I'm going to start hearing new species regularly.
It was a chilly morning this morning. When I went out to the car at about 5:45am I went to start it and when the headlights came on, I noticed that I couldn't see out the windshield. There was some decent frost. I used the defrost turned up all the way, and the windshield washer, and within a few seconds, I could see. But it was pretty chilly.
Even so, I heard a whiporwill call this morning. This is the first whiporwill call of the year, even though I saw one several days ago.
I haven't written about politics for a bit, and so much has gone on, and I need to write about it because that is what I write about mostly.
And I guess it would be proper for me to talk about the dems first, since that is more my leaning. Hillary and Bernie! The way I look at it, not a bad choice. A hell of a lot better than the reps. But we'll get to that later. I guess the one thing that the Hillary and Bernie contest has shown us is that Hillary's baggage is much heavier than anyone thought.
I heard a northern parula yesterday. This was the first neotropical migrant bird that I heard this season. Almost always it is between the blue-gray gnatcatchers and the parulas as to which shows up first. And, interestingly enough, my friend Tom, who lives about a half hour drive to the northwest, saw a blue-gray gnatcatcher yesterday. With the whiporwill siting the other day, and these occurences, it is clear that the migration has begun.
here's an interesting piece. makes you wonder how words have been "processed" over the years.
Today is April 5, 2016. The spring here is advancing, but in a very slow advance. We aren't rushing from winter to summer. Well, we really didn't have a lot of harsh winter - the winter was pretty moderate. But there were a number of really heavy rainfalls. We are having days where the afternoons, when they are sunny, are mild, but the mornings are cool.
I have listened and watched the pundits pontificate over the primaries yesterday. The one thing that is making me rethink is about Rubio. I have been saying that the republicans would ultimately nominate Rubio and that he is the biggest threat to the democrats. I still sort of think that is true, but I'm ready to completely abandon that theory until after next Tuesday. It still is very possible that no republican candidate will come to the convention with 50% plus 1 of the delegates. If that is the case, anything could happen.
I'm sitting here and watching the Friday night news talk shows that are on my TV. At the moment, it is "McGlaughlin Group". I have been watching this show pretty regularly for a long time. 3 of the panelists, Buchanan, Clift, and McGlaughlin, have been the core panel for a long time. The swing liberals and conservatives change every so often. Clarence Page is the best fit for McGlaughlin as the main swing liberal, but he is only on now and then. It makes a difference whether the swing is a liberal or conservative.
You have to give Trump something - not sure if it should be credit, or something else. But, I can't think of too many people that have called the Pope, and particularly this Pope, "disgraceful." It's like telling your Mom she is fat, only worse!
There are few things in politics which come back to haunt a politician more than saying (particularly that which they didn't have to say) too much and worse yet, at a bad time.
Obama has done of this, and it has caused him the most headache and damage of anything that has happened. The big example: the "red line" over chemical weapons in Syria. Obama blustered that if anyone in Syria used chemical weapons, that it would cross a red line and trigger a response - which most people took as meaning military.