April 18, 2010 by Joseph C. Neal
WESTERN ARKANSAS BIRD NOTES Joseph C. Neal My friend Joe Woolbright from Siloam Springs holds forth mornings at a café named Kathy’s Corner. He is more of the liberal persuasion, but his table mates tend toward Rush. So, with the coming of ice & snow in the past few weeks, folks all around Joe at the table have driven the icy-snowy roads to Kathy’s, bringing with them questions like, “Well Woolbright, I guess that finishes off the global warming idea” etc. Joe points out that climate change is not about a single event or year. It’s about long term trends. In terms of his breakfast friends, he might as well just go out and howl at the cold moon. Birds are indicators of a changing climate. We now find birds here regularly that once spent the winter south of the Ozarks. On the recently concluded Fayetteville Christmas Bird count, for example, we found 13 Ruby-crowned Kinglets, an unheard-of event until the 1980s. I think about this when I’m out birding. On January 4 I walked the perimeter of Chesney Prairie Natural Area near Siloam Springs. I found American Tree Sparrows in several spots during the afternoon, including one flock of …Read More...
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April 18, 2010 by wcobserver
Who Needs Rules Anyway? It’s a beautiful spring evening at Carter Park in West Fork. The batter hits a highfly ball to center field. The fielder fades back, back, back. The runner is rounding second heading for third. The center fielder is under it – he reaches – the ball thuds on the ground in front of him. The umpires come together for a conference and declare the runner out anyway. After all, they reason, the fielder almost caught the ball. A few fans grumble, most just shrug their shoulders. After all the game’s being played in a small town. They do things different in small towns. Of course, this is ridiculous; the rules of baseball are applied consistently. Rules are what give the game a sense of fairness; they make the game worth playing. Without rules there is no game. Sports rules flow from an ancient principal concerned with how we govern ourselves. That principle is the basis of all civilized life – “The Rule of Law.” This deeply embedded democratic ideal was discussed by Ancient Greek philosophers. Around 350 BCE, Plato wrote: Where the law is subject to some other authority and has none of its own, the …Read More...
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