A new state bird! Not a super-rarity, but not one you see in South Dakota much. It’s always nice to have a fellow birder in the area find a rarity, report it online, and have it be within 10 miles of your home! It’s even nicer when you make the short drive and the bird is still in the same place.
I wasn’t sure if I was going to be able to easily tell it apart from all the mallards in the area, but it stood out from the moment I got there. Darker, more evenly colored plumage, and a bill that really distinguishes it from the female Mallards. One reason to love birding…I sure wasn’t expecting a new state bird when I woke up this morning!
American Black Duck, the first I’ve seen in South Dakota.
Comparison with a female Mallard. Pretty obvious when you see them side-by-side, with the darker, more evenly colored plumage, and that distinctive yellowish bill.
A new flag at a house on my way home! My guess is it’s been a month since I’ve been by, so this is something that’s popped up since the election. THIS is the kind of behavior that I guess is now normalized, thanks to our election of an openly bigoted pig of a man as President.
I work at a facility that’s outside of Sioux Falls in the middle of nowhere, which gives me the somewhat unique opportunity to drive gravel roads to and from work if I so wish. I have several different roads I can take, but today took a gravel road I haven’t taken for probably a month. I found a new feature on the road! Joe White Trash Redneck decided to add a second flag to his flag pole…a Confederate Flag.
We ARE “South” Dakota I guess, and unlike those liberal heathens up in North Dakota, there are clearly many of South Dakotans that still harbor old-time convictions. Who am I kidding…there are white trash rednecks like this all over the country, and lily-white South Dakota is no exception. The difference is that unlike the South, here we wrap our bigotry and racism in good ol’ fashioned Midwestern “niceness”.
I’ve lived in Nebraska or South Dakota nearly all my life, save for a couple of years spent in Washington D.C. just after college. I know what people are like, and I’ve always known the “nice Midwesterner” label was a farce. People are people, and I certainly didn’t notice any difference in “niceness” in D.C. vs. here. People certainly drive like assholes EVERYWHERE, whether you’re on the jam-packed freeways around D.C. or on the roads around Sioux Falls! Any pride South Dakotans or other Midwesterners may take in their civility melts away quickly when you peek just under the surface. Conservative values that dominate here are remarkably similar to conservative values in the deep South, where people may wrap themselves in a cloak of piety and religious belief, but that cloak is simply a cover for some very deep-rooted bigotry and racism.
Is it good or bad that the Trump election normalizes this kind of behavior? What does it say that a house I’ve passed countless times in the past 23 years never had a Confederate flag flying, yet within a month of Trump being elected, it proudly flies next to the American flag?
Insecure white (trash/redneck/losers) have certainly gotten payback after 8 years of a (gasp!) black president, and with the choice of Trump, people are seemingly becoming much less shy about showing their true colors.