Around the Airport

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Refuge for a Fox

Photo found several places with no photographer credit.
A full day of mowing was a third gone when from the tall grass sprung a burnt orange fox. Fifty feet at a time it would dash then stop to see if I was still there. Our individual paces matching, the fire on four legs was exasperated.

Obviously trying to tell me something, I eased off the throttle. So did the fox. Again, I pulled a few hundred rpm and again the little streak did too. This continued a few more times until I had no more to give. I was stopped. So was my friend.
Staring at me staring at him, or maybe her, it was obvious our message to each other was understood. I wished it no harm. It wished to carry on with life.

No longer sensing danger, it casually trotted about. My presence accepted, its mission continued.

Forward, half a turn left, then right, then forward again, the long orange tail followed the slender body, which followed the head, which turned with every move of its ears. Eagerly I watched as sound steered it along a path I recognized. Where it hunted was a known colony of moles.

Occasionally stopping to look my direction, much the way an intelligent dog looks for approval, it seemed to want me to watch, and so, I did. Turning and jinking, its ears redirected it faster and faster, until suddenly, it froze. Motionless and focused, it appeared as statue of an animal living its life.

On display was a healthy body so slender a person unused to foxes may believe it sick. Its rakish head and tapered ears juxtaposed the other end. Round, fluffy, and long, its tail so attractive people once nearly wiped its predecessors from the Earth in pursuit of it. Today though, this fox was the featured piece in an outdoor art museum, a refuge for wonderful things.
BAMM!  Mesmerized by stillness of the creature, I jumped when it came instantly back to life. Its nose buried into the ground, the body and tail appearing to push it deeper. Determined, it went sharply about its target. Then, for the briefest second, it froze again.

Having rocketed after its target, over a short bank, I could see the top of its head as it jerked its muzzle free from the ground. Did it have something? I could only hope, but expected it to trot away without knowing.

Instead, the fox reaffirmed my belief. Somehow we had communicated, or at least understood enough about each other to leave the other alone. Lifting up its head, looking back at me from over the bank, it took four spritely steps to level ground to show me the prize. Draping from its mouth was a mole.

Staring at each other, I laughed aloud. The fox, seeming to recognize my approval, gave the mole a shake, turned, and vanished into the tall grass along the runway - neither of us harmed by the other, and both better off for it.

 

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Changing Times Deliver Another Issue to Resolve


As many of you have noted, I've not been active with NORDO News.  The reasons for this are many.

Broadening interests, a different focus, and not being able to write about what I truly want to write about has brought it all to a crawl.

That last one is particularly important. Remember, I will tell you what I think. Cuts from honesty are better than health with lies.

With the emphasis being placed on the Lee Bottom Aviation Refuge, I can no longer write about the things that interest me because the things that interest me, other than aviation, infuriate too many of today's easily offendeds. Therefore, I have been focusing on physical projects while attempting to come up with a solution.

Without doubt, I will have to create a separate newsletter for "the Refuge."  NORDO News cannot be its mouthpiece. Additionally, I will have to figure out a way to restrict some folks from some NORDO posts, or allow them to choose categories they wish to read about, so that the others will not be delivered to them.

Although readership has actually been on the rise, if I were to write what I truly want to write, eventually I will have made everyone mad and they all will have left. Honesty and non-politically correct viewpoints are not appreciated, even by those who claim to love honesty and hate PC. A solution is needed.

Meanwhile, I'll keep cranking out feel good stuff that requires no thought.  Well, I'll be trying to do that. Heck, who am I kidding?  That's not going to happen.  But, as they always say, it's the thought that counts.

Peace be with you.


Chicken Scratching Type-Setter - Rich Davidson

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Sinful Sundays Return in June

As you may have heard, SINFUL SUNDAYS return this year.  A favorite event from previous years, it is a critical step in moving forward with the recently announced Lee Bottom Aviation Refuge.  We hope you'll make plans to attend and support both efforts. 

 
The first Sinful Sunday, to be held on June 11th, will be hosted by the RAF. Members of their organization, along with other volunteers, will be running the show.  Additionally, the entire weekend is part of a string of events for RAF pilots. Therefore, many of the organization's members will be on hand for the entire weekend.

If you have been to Sinful Sundays in previous years, you may expect Ginger's patented Twinkie Sundays. Since she's away for training, you should expect otherwise.  In fact, the sinful part of Sinful Sundays will now be up to the host.  That too is different.

From here on out, we are going to rely on other groups to host each Sinful Sunday. Those groups will also decide on the sinful part of the event.  For the first one, they have chosen Ehrlers Ice Cream.

As usual, I hope you will make your best effort to attend. When we bring in vendors, it is imperative we have a good turnout to insure their return. And be sure to get here early. The time on Sunday is 12-3, or until the ice creams runs out.

Imagine an Airport 100 Years in the Future

100 Years from now, it won't be able to fly if no airport remains.
Kids will not build planes.  The spirit of aviation will not exist. 

The future of aviation, for most aviators, is an uncomfortable subject.  The writing is on the wall. The pressure is everywhere. "SOMETHING MUST BE DONE!" Nothing ever really is.

What is the sexiest part of aviation; the piece that really gets attention; something that gets people involved? Can you name it? Most likely you are thinking warbirds, vintage, or flying itself. The airplanes are always the first to come to mind.  Can't think of anything else? How about aviation's favorite object of philanthropy - kids? It's always for the kids isn't it? Can you think of something else? What about airports?

Airports aren't very sexy. Although, most of them are treasured by those who don't have to take care of them. I know this because when one is threatened, suddenly, everyone is interested in the future.  Unfortunately, by the time it comes to the tenants doing the hard work, the final nail has already been set.

Airports simply aren't sexy. They don't go airborne, have puppy dog eyes, or do anything other than house our flying machines. Still, it is popular to say you support airports. But, evidence of action says otherwise.

I don't understand. I put a bumper sticker on my car.
How could this happen?

Today, caring about airports is aviation's "Save the Whales." The bumper sticker is easy. Climbing in the boat is what the crazy people do, right?

Aviation's efforts to save airports are equal to rowing up to the Titanic's screws, just before they slip under, grabbing a brass blade, then yelling, "HELP!" I'm always amazed at the shock generated in the aviation community when it is announced an airport is closing. There hasn't been a single time, that I can think of, an airport was closed without warning.  Yes, even Meigs.

Years after development has reached the fences, politicians have announced their dislike of the field, and GA has been squeezed out, that's when everyone looks around, taps their friend on the shoulder, and asks, "Hey, shouldn't we do something about this?

This is exactly what we intend to do.

This is the largest hurdle we face with the Lee Bottom Aviation Refuge. How do we get people to think about the future - to save an airport, not for today, but for tomorrow?

Lee Bottom is the perfect field to set aside.  It could still be protected because there is no development on its fences. It is far enough from civilization to have no opposition but close enough to benefit society. The surrounding land would make the perfect recreational buffer which would benefit more than aviation alone. Additionally, a parallel river allows for air, land, and sea activities. It's beautiful.

Passionate supporters who can see the future, and see Lee Bottom as part of it, are needed. If that's you, we hope you'll join us in our effort to build the Lee Bottom Aviation Refuge. Everyone, whether stated or not, wishes to leave their mark on the world. This is your chance.

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I have always loved this anonymous Greek proverb. It states the issue at hand with a single sentence. “Society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they know they shall never sit.”