Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Birds on the Move

The National Public Radio program, Talk of the Nation, is originating from Roanoke today. The topic is "Appalachians on Appalachia." A lady farmer from our county is calling in as I write, telling about the renaissance in small farming! I confirmed that it was our friend, Kirsten.

This morning the squawking of large numbers of Canada Geese got my attention. I saw them fly over the trees to some nearby pond just out of my sight. Small, dark birds covered the lawn and made a racket on the roof and gutters for about half an hour, then flew away in a cloud.

The Fall colors are more intense today. It's warm and sunny. We might get some rain tomorrow.

Last Saturday, I went to an NRA-sponsored shooting workshop for women.

Yes, those who know me must be aware that this was an exercise in self discipline! I was afraid of guns, and decided that I needed to learn more about them, especially how to handle them safely. I'm also determined to protect my livestock from predators this coming year.

A friend practically signed me up. I thought about all the possible negative scenarios I might encounter: strident conservative political indoctrination, anti-Yankee slogans loudly shouted, maybe even a KKK rally...

I was pleasantly surprised to meet nice, decent people. The instructors were all skilled and patient. None of the negative scenarios materialized. It was a lovely Autumn day.

About eighty women had signed up, including some I knew. I spoke with a number of them about why they were taking the workshop. One said she was a single mother with three children and she felt the need to be able to protect them. One had been recently widowed and wanted to learn to protect herself. One said she, just like me, wanted to overcome her fear of guns so that she could use them on her farm if needed.

I also spoke with the young woman who is the sole press representative for the national organization. She was educated and didn't impress me as a "gun nut." If you want to see a slide show of the event, click here and scroll down to Women On Target, Fincastle, Virginia.

Target shooting isn't exactly rocket science. I listened intently and then tried to apply what I learned. I caught on with practice and will practice target shooting some more when I get a chance. I didn't faint or cry. I didn't join the NRA.

Goody for me. You can teach an old dog new tricks.


Ms Sparky said...

Good for you. I love to shoot. I don't care for hunting, but could if I had to. But I love to shoot the hell out of a target!

We recently moved to a new state and just applied for our concealed weapons permits. And you reminded me need to get in touch with the local NRA. Thanks

Good for you!!! said...

Aren't the leaves pretty? the rain is pretty nice too. I spose one of these days I will learn to operate a gun for the same reasons you gave. What if a rabid skunk or a rattlesnake showed up on my porch? I can still remember when my dad was out of town and indeed, a rabid skunk appeared in our little yard. My gentle mother got out the gun and killed it and they later had to turn the head of the skunk into some office to confirm the dx. Ick. But that would be better than having one of our animals, or worse, a little girl attacked!

CountryDew said...

I learned to shoot as a child but I still don't care much for guns. I am decent with a .22 but would be knocked for a loop with anything larger!