Home Opinion Mine Creek Revelations by Louie Graves: Welcome Mat Out

Mine Creek Revelations by Louie Graves: Welcome Mat Out


IS IT A TRAP? Nashville Police Chief Amy Marion has sent a message that I will be welcome anytime at the Nashville Cop Shop.

This, despite my references to the city officers in last week’s extremely truthful column about getting stuck — and, POP, loose — in my shower stall.

Just to be safe, I will leave word with my office colleagues and my next-of-kin before venturing into the PD again to mooch a cup of coffee.

Also, have heard from some former readers who thought that weakening my position on being an ARMED Downtown J-Turn Enforcement Officer was a bad idea.

Previously I thought it only prudent to be armed when on duty. But the Arkansas State Police keep dragging their feet on my request for an open carry permit. And the mayor keeps dragging his feet on actually deputizing me. They all need to hurry because I am swiftly outgrowing the Army-Navy surplus camo uniforms I purchased just to be ready when I am finally — and legally — on duty.

So, I thought briefly about settling for a Genuine Junior Geronimo Bow and Arrow Set instead of a Glock.

What do you think? If you pulled an illegal J-Turn in downtown Nashville, and if you heard someone holler “Halt!” And if you saw in your rearview mirror someone in a tight-fitting camo uniform pulling back on the bowstring — would you halt or flee?

Just asking.

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ANIMAL CRACKERS. After dragging myself around the neighborhood on my usual predawn walk, Saturday, I plunked myself down on a patio chair with a cup of coffee and chance to enjoy the birds for a half-hour or so.

Usually the most exciting thing is the running gunfight between about a dozen Bluejays over the raw peanuts I put out on a table.

But not Saturday morning. I almost choked on my coffee at the sight of a pure white bird fluttering into the thick vegetation along my back property line.

Did I say “Pure?” I meant dazzling white.

I was so stunned at the whiteness that I didn’t check closely to see if it might be an albino Bluejay or a Cardinal or a Brown Thrasher which are my usual winged visitors. My mystery bird sat shyly on a limb behind some leaves and I could only see it sporadically. It did not emerge from the greenery to afford me a better look.

I watched it for about 20 minutes. Then I had to go inside for more coffee, and when I returned to my seat the white bird was gone.

I didn’t see it again Sunday or Monday, so I guess it has moved on.

If any of you see it please let me know.

This bird episode reminds me of a couple of years ago when I saw a wholly red bird hopping around on the patio. It was not a Cardinal.

Some of my neighbors thought I had been sniffing glue. They were fairly sure that I was seeing things. But then someone as reliable as the sheriff told me he had seen a similar bird.

We agreed: It was a very different red than that of a Cardinal. No mask, no crest, and its beak wasn’t orange.

Our John Balch told me that it was most likely a Summer Tanager. A beautiful red bird that eats wasps.

For a couple years after that I frequently saw the bird perched on a fencepost at the north end of 14th street when I made my morning walk turnaround. I never saw it again in my yard. But on the walk I even got to the point where I recognized its song.

Then, it went away.

Enough time has passed so that I no longer remember its song.

The sighting also reminds me of late last winter when I saw an albino in the middle of a flock of Blackbirds near the old Tyson feed mill.

I almost didn’t believe my own eyes until Mark Millwood showed me a phone video his daughter had taken of the same bird.

(I am sorry to revisit old witticisms, but at the time I suggested the number of birds in the flock: Four and Twenty. I know some of you won’t ‘get’ this.)

This also reminds me (I promise, this is my last bird ‘recollection’) of Miss Jamie McConnell who lived alone in a neat house on west Hempstead Street. If you found an injured or baby bird which couldn’t fly, you could take it to Miss Jamie and she would try to nurse it back to health.

BUT you better not let her catch you out ‘hunting’ with your Red Ryder BB gun anywhere near her yard.

I’ve learned that many communities have a Miss Jamie — someone who will take in injured animals.

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ANIMAL CRACKERS. ‘My’ Mississippi kites are back!

So are cicadas. Heard them for the first time early Monday morning. Isn’t this early for cicadas to emerge?

Also, lots of folks are complaining of hordes of invasive caterpillars. Nothing repels them and apparently birds won’t eat them.

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WORD GAMES. The twins: Fine and Dandy. See last week’s Word Games — everything is hunky dory.

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THINGS I LEARNED from opening (and believing) email: “Ever stop to think and forget to start again?“

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HE SAID: “Every particular in nature, a leaf, a drop, a crystal, a moment of time is related to the whole, and partakes of the perfection of the whole.” Ralph Waldo Emerson, philosopher and poet

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SHE SAID: “The truth. It is a beautiful and terrible thing, and must therefore be treated with great caution.” J.K. Rowling, writer

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