Old Patriot's Pen

Personal pontifications of an old geezer born 200 years too late.

NOTE The views I express on this site are mine and mine alone. Nothing I say should be construed as being "official" or the views of any group, whether I've been a member of that group or not. The advertisings on this page are from Google, and do not constitute an endorsement on my part.

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Location: Colorado Springs, Colorado, United States

I've been everywhere That was the title of a hit country-and-western song from the late 1950's, originally sung by Hank Snow, and made famous by Johnny Cash. I resemble that! My 26-year career in the Air Force took me to more than sixty nations on five continents - sometimes only for a few minutes, other times for as long as four years at a time. In all that travel, I also managed to find the perfect partner, help rear three children, earn more than 200 hours of college credit, write more than 3000 reports, papers, documents, pamphlets, and even a handful of novels, take about 10,000 photographs, and met a huge crowd of interesting people. I use this weblog and my personal website here to document my life, and discuss my views on subjects I find interesting.

Saturday, April 30, 2005

"Lord God Bird" confirmed!

There are several confirmed sightings in the books now of the Ivory-Billed Woodpecker, one of the most spectacular birds of North America. The Ivory-Bill and I have a long acquaintance, not necessarily pleasant for me...

I was out hunting with my dad in the late fall/early winter, 1962/63, near Little River, in north-central Louisiana. I suddenly saw a pair of birds I'd never seen before. I watched them for about 15 minutes before they flew off and across the river. Several days later, still curious about what I'd seen, I looked the birds up in a book in my school library. I had seen a pair of Ivory-Billed Woodpeckers.

At the time, I didn't know the birds were "extinct". Our assistant principal, Mr. Smith, was a member of the Audobon Society, and became very angry at me for insisting I'd seen members of this "extinct" species. He told me more than once I hadn't seen what I knew quite well I had.

There were several reports of ivory billed woodpeckers being spotted in Louisiana over the last couple of years, both in the southern and northern parts of the state. There are still tens of thousands of acres of land in Louisiana that is either swamp, or marginal for anything but what it currently is - uninhabited! I don't doubt that there are at least a few pairs of ivory-billed woodpeckers in Louisiana, and that I saw a mating pair back in 1962/63.

So, Mr. Smith, who's laughing now (other than the ivory billed woodpecker, that is... )? 8^)


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