I do not love the bright sword for its sharpness, nor the arrow for its swiftness, nor the warrior for his glory. I love only that which they defend. (J.R.R.Tolkien, The Two Towers)

When I carry a gun, I don't do so because I am looking for a fight, but because I'm looking to be left alone. The gun at my side means that I cannot be forced, only persuaded. I don't carry it because I'm afraid, but because it enables me to be unafraid. It doesn't limit the actions of those who would interact with me through reason, only the actions of those who would do so by force.

Marko Kloos "Why the Gun is Civilization"

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Old Wives Grandfathers Tales

Been out in the woods a lot the last few weeks and have seen a lot of wild game especially deer and squirrel. Hunting for me is a time of solitude, a time of contemplation, of reflection. One of the things I've been running through my mind was some of the stories my father, grandfather, and father-in-law told for the gospel truth.

Squirrel Migration...
My paternal grandfather used to tell about the time he was in the woods and hundreds of squirrels were all traveling together headed down the ridge he was hunting on. He swore that his grandfather had told him the same story when he was a youngster.

Killer Spike

My father-in-law called these deer killer spikes. He claimed that they would find a mature buck and using their spikes they would gut the larger buck to kill it and eliminate competition for the does. He never saw it himself but he knew of someone else who knew someone who did see it happen.

Dominant Squirrel

My father and my father-in-law both told of the dominant squirrel. It seems that each section of the woods contained a older dominant male squirrel. Each spring when the young squirrels were born he would visit all of the nests in his territory and any baby male squirrels he found he would chew off their testicles so he would be the only male able to mate with the females.

Wonder what Sigmund would make of these stories?

Friday, November 02, 2007

Arsonists destroy High Knob tower



Published 10/31/2007 By Stephen Igo

Firefighters could do nothing but watch early Wednesday as the last of the High Knob Observation Tower’s wooden decking burns. Photo courtesy of U.S. Forest Service.

HIGH KNOB — A Wise County landmark was destroyed Wednesday in what firefighters are calling a Halloween arson incident.

The Jefferson National Forest’s High Knob Observation Tower went up in flames early Wednesday, leaving U.S. Forest Service authorities and everyone else scratching their heads over the senselessness of the incident. Arsonists also destroyed a restroom at the Clinch Ranger District at the Hanging Rock Picnic Area in Scott County. Clinch District Ranger Ron Bush said the restroom fire was reported roughly a half hour after local fire departments and USFS personnel had arrived at the tower site above Norton.

USFS wildlife biologist Lois Boggs said the late great tower was probably built in the 1960s or early 1970s. It was originally a fire watch tower, then transformed into a tourist observation tower. The history of a lookout structure of some sort goes back to at least the 1930s.

The two-story structure built 40 to 50 years ago featured an attractive solid stone bottom with a wood upper story. The most serious vandalism on the structure to this point was the annoying habit of many visitors to carve their initials or proclamations of love into the woodwork.

“In the ’90s we re-decked it, put in new steps and a new roof,” she said. “At one point when it was still used as an observation tower for fires, we had it open to the public. There were maps and windows and all that. We still occasionally come up here, even though (airplanes are now used to spot forest fires) to look over the district and see if there are any smokes or anything going on. Of course, that’s all gone for everyone now.”

Volunteer fire departments from Norton and Coeburn were among the responding firefighter units sent to no avail, Bush said.

Click on the title for the full story...

You know what...there just ain't no cure for stupidity.

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