Friday, April 28, 2017


The southern Magnolia tree is a beautiful example of nature.  At its maturity, it is tall and majestic.  It is truly a thing of beauty as long as you don’t have to live with it.  That can be said of a lot of nature. 
Take for example the Bald Eagle, a magnificent raptor, strong and picturesque as it swoops low over the water to snatch a trout from just below the surface.  Yet up close… I am not sure it would be something you want around every day.  Don’t get me wrong, there are a great number of people who love to be around raptors, and for them the eagle is a fine creature with only minor flaws.
Hmmm, this reminds me of a story from my Desert Storm days.  We were operating out of Incirlik Air Base in Turkey and when the war ended we were allowed off base.  A group of flyers went to a local establishment called the Eagle Café/Bar.  The bar was on the roof, and the owner kept an eagle there.  After what I assume was more than one beer, these intrepid airmen decided living in a cage was a cruel life and set about to free the eagle.  Once free they tossed it into the air with the joyous yell, “Fly and be free.”  Unfortunately for all concerned, especially the eagle, its wings had been clipped.  It had just enough lift to flap into the adjacent river where it drowned.
Right there we had the makings of an international “ugly American” incident.  Fortunately, cooler heads prevailed.  One of the senior officers who had observed this incident contacted the owner and negotiated a fair price (as decided by the owner) for his pet raptor.  The airmen involved, after coughing up the agreed price of the eagle, got to spend the rest of the deployment confined to base and away from anything with the hint of alcohol.  But I digress.
Where was I?  Oh yes, my Magnolia tree is in its spring shedding season.  The spring shedding season is different than the summer, fall, or winter shedding seasons in the quantity of leaves the tree decides it no longer needs.  What was once a green lawn is now mostly brown with discarded leaves.  Every couple of days I will mow them into mulch, but still it persists… In that way, Magnolias are a lot like Elizabeth Warren.

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