mark donham's blog

Wendell Berry's book "Harlan Hubbard, Life and Work"

I recently finished reading the Wendell Berry book "Harlan Hubbard: Life and Work." Mr. Berry tells an interesting story of his meeting and getting to know the Hubbards, as well as his view of the life story of the couple. Hubbard is an increasingly important Kentucky artist who died in 1989. Of course, his work lives on.

migrants arriving today

When I went outside in the early morning light this morning I heard a summer tanager calling. This was the first of the year that I have heard. A little later, when I walked down the hill to look at a patch of crested iris blooming along a little waterway on our property, I heard a common yellowthroat. Again, this is my first encounter with that species this season. I think I heard a hooded warbler in the front yard, although it had an accent. (Yes, birds have accents just like people). But I had heard one of them passing through in early April.

migrants arriving today

When I went outside in the early morning light this morning I heard a summer tanager calling. This was the first of the year that I have heard. A little later, when I walked down the hill to look at a patch of crested iris blooming along a little waterway on our property, I heard a common yellowthroat. Again, this is my first encounter with that species this season. I think I heard a hooded warbler in the front yard, although it had an accent. (Yes, birds have accents just like people). But I had heard one of them passing through in early April.

First political posting in a year and half

Wow, I don't know why it has taken me a year and half to write another political post. For the most part, that is what I wrote about primarily for over 6 years. It isn't that I haven't been paying attention to politics - to the contrary. My interest is as high now as ever. I guess I just haven't felt like writing about it. But I have been building up in my mind to write about this for awhile, and today I have the time and I'm going to jot down some thoughts.

first neotropical migrants this year earlier than normal

I was surprised to step outside my house on Saturday, April 4, 2015, and hear a white eyed vireo calling from the hedge in our front yard. Later that day I heard a northern parula in the yard. It was a week before I heard them again. It was at this time that I also was hearing the first american toads trilling. As far as the white eyed vireo goes, it is a about 3 weeks earlier than the year before.

more spring things

On Saturday morning last week I came home from work early afternoon to hear a white eyed vireo. This was my first encounter with them this spring. They are usually one of the early arrivals. On Monday morning, I heard a chuck-will's widow as well as the whiporwills. This is the only time I have heard them so far this spring. I'm sure this one was just passing through.

more signs of spring

In the last week, starting approximately a week ago, there has been several arrivals of spring things, even though tonight they call for a freeze.

signs of spring!

I can't believe that I haven't published anything on this page since November. There have been a number of reasons for that, the harsh winter being one of them. But we are coming out of winter now. I try to keep track of some signs of spring that I find noteworthy.

Yeiser Art Center in Paducah, KY once again practices censorship but is called on it by local artists

This last weekend was the opening of the "Member's Show" of the Yeiser Art Center in Paducah, Kentucky. This annual event is held in and sponsored by the Yeiser Art Center, the city art organization in Paducah. It is open to all members (who are willing to cough up an entry fee). There is good participation from the membership as a matter of course.

Two music shows I've seen/heard lately. Two important musical females

In the last couple weeks I have seen two music shows of women who have been very influential in U.S. popular music. The shows were in many ways opposite, and in many ways similar. The artists were Cheryl Crow and Judy Collins.

Parties trying to set the stage for coming campaign ads

At this point in the government shutdown, it appears to me that both parties are trying to position themselves for the 2014 elections, with a particular focus on campaign ads - with a more particular focus on TV ads that they will be running.

Sunday News shows: Obamacare and the republicans

I watched the Sunday News shows Sunday. They were focused on the looming "government shutdown" which isn't really - more of a partial temporary layoff for some government workers. That is just indicative of how language is misused by interests to try and persuade. If we had accurate use of language, (which is what George Carlin was always harping about) we would probably have a lot more peace in the world. Unfortunately, language and words are too easy to misuse and twist around.

Sunday News Shows, 9.15.2013

I still watch the Sunday News shows that I have access to most every Sunday. Most of the time they are, overall, a yawn, and I quit feeling self-obligated to write about them every Sunday. But yesterday's discussions have inspired me to write a few comments. What I want to comment on is the difference in opinion between some of the politicians and pundits and Washington Post writer David Ignatius, a recognized middle eastern expert. In my opinion, it demonstrates how the republicans are trying to politicize through mischaracterization of every move of Obama's. Let me explain.

Travis Tritt show at the Carson Center

On August 23, 2013, Travis Tritt performed at the Carson Center in Paducah. Kristi and I ushered for the show. I didn't know what to think going into the show. I knew that I liked some of the top 40 country tunes that he had gotten some good airplay from in our area, but that had been years ago and there had been nothing from him lately. But while I liked some of his songs, they mostly have a commercial side, and thus, I wasn't sure if his show would be more hype than substance.

Thoughts on Syria

Like everyone, I have been watching with interest and anxiety over the Obama administration's threats of military attacks on Syria to "degrade" their capability to deliver chemical weapons. I, like most of my fellow citizens of the U.S., are having a hard time buying into the whole ordeal. It simply smacks of more overt militarism based on shabby evidence and a blind eye to the unavoidable unintended consequences that military action brings on. To that extent, it has been an unpleasant surprise, and a cold washrag in the face, that Obama is so fervently behind doing this.

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