I live on 9 and half acres on the eastern slope of Biscuit Mountain. It consists of about 90 percent trees and bushes and 10 percent open space.  

When I moved here into an existing house 56 years ago there was a bounty of birds, animals and reptiles. It was usual to have a cardinal sitting in a walnut tree, sing in the early evening. We had robins, towhees, wrens and all the other usual birds. We also had the occasional scarlet tanager, Baltimore oriole, and the like.  

We had coveys of blue birds and cedar waxwings pass through. Some years we would have the magnificent pileated woodpeckers set up residency nearby. It was special to have a wood thrush sing for 10 or 15 minutes just outside the living room screen door. There were lots of chipmunks and squirrels darting around, including flying squirrels that are such a delight, except when they sneak into your attic and run around all night.  

We had many lovely little ring neck snakes. We had one black snake we called Big Buster because he was so big. Last summer we saw one little black snake - just once. This summer - none. No ring necks for the last two or three years. The bats over head in the evening chasing insects are gone. We have a Carolina wren that we see and hear occasionally.  

What we hear almost exclusively is traffic on the highway down below. And where are the chipmunks and squirrels?  

When you read articles about global warming and environment change you might think, this is serious, we should be doing more about it, or you might think it is all a hoax. But when you see and hear environmental change right where you call home, you are frightened.  

We have 3 + 2 = 5 grandchildren, all under age 7, and all are beautiful and strong. It distresses me to think about the future that we are leaving for them. And when they are grown up and in charge, what will be their opinion of all of us? 


Don Smith 

Broad Run 

(6) comments


Thats right Don, but now we have two moms and two dads on the school boards, transvestites in our house of delegates, and if you complain, you are compared to the national socialists who put people in ovens.

Yes, there are lots of problems, and people who choose to wear red hats are not one of them.


I am 70 now but I remember when I was a child things were much different then. Moms didn't have to work, dinner time was a family thing, no TV at dinner. We played outside and rode our bikes. All of us were known in the neighborhood and if you got into trouble your parents knew about FAST. You could trust your neighbors and knew them. Parents were active in the PTA and supported the teachers. We were taught personal responsibility and consequence for our actions. Religion was an important part of our lives. We said the pledge and the Lords prayer every day at school. Your reputation was the most important thing because you were judged by who your friends were. We had great respect for law ENFORCEMENT and our Military as well as our president if you agreed or not with him. We took pride in our Country and our haritage. We may have been from different cultures but we were AMERICANS! We had respect for our communities and our neighbors. Today we have me, me, me and I. The heck with everybody else my rights trump yours. Let someone else clean that up. It's not my fault, problem. Their are little to no consequence, it's what you can get away with. And the advent of social media people shoot off their mouths with anonymity, never having to look someone in the eye. Hipocarcy is everywhere not to mention a two tiered justice system. So the birds and the bees and the serenity that once existed is overpowered by the greed and lack of harmony that exist today. Nature has found a more peaceful place to exist. One in which harmony and respect for the things that GOD gave us still exist. They say " the good old days" for a reason. I and the people that came before me can attest to that.

Linda Ward

"Moms didn't have to work....." ? Are you saying that taking care of the house, washing clothes, buying groceries, cooking meals, taking care of the children, managing the finances, gardening and canning, taking care of sick loved ones, and a multitude of other necessary actions to keep a family running. Did you mean that the Moms didn't work "outside" the home and get a paycheck like they do now?

Linda Ward

Same at our home. We used to get thousands of firefly in the Summer, lots of robins in the Spring, and the bees that used to live in an old Cedar tree have left. We planted sunflowers all around the perimeter of the yard and some birds have come back. I think about the children too. What will be left for them except for a trash heap?


Imagine how the property owners on the southwest border feel. They used to ride the range without fear of being shot by cartels, without the certainty of finding feces, condoms, and bodies left behind the folks you people insist have a divine spark

Keep searching for fireflies, while voting for those who enable human trafficking. You must be proud.

Linda Ward

I'm proud of the fact that I don't make things up. Where do you come up with some of your comments? Voting for those that enable human trafficking? Divine spark? Please seek help. You are shooting blanks.

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