At first my mind couldn't digest what I then saw and heard. The impression was of grass smeared heavily with something greasy, crumby and Tabasco-sauce red. The movement was diffuse and uncoordinated. There were fluttering sounds, and sounds like cellophane being rustled. This disorientation lasted only a second or two but it was creepy enough to do for a long time. I took a picture of what I was looking at and you can see it below. I got closer, and details emerged. Grasshoppers, millions of them The picture below shows what I saw. Long-time readers may recall my December 5th, Newsletter when I reported that "a whole black cloud of grasshoppers in the sky was moving from east to west, a fast-moving cloud maybe feet thick and a quarter mile wide, a dark river of grasshoppers stretching from horizon to horizon.
I think that Tuesday I saw what could possibly be the beginning of something like that cloud of locusts.
In the close-up picture linked to above notice that though the grasshoppers themselves are fairly large their wings are only beginning to develop. The grasshoppers in the picture couldn't fly because their wings were only a third or a fourth as long as they'll eventually grow. In the picture, the wings are black with yellow rims.
Tuesday's mess of grasshoppers extended about 30 feet up the road and maybe ten feet into the grass. Across the road lay another concentration, that one a little longer and maybe 20 feet deep. Beyond these two well defined populations I didn't see a single other grasshopper. Clearly there weren't enough grasshoppers here to form a cloud of locusts. However, if many other gatherings such as these dot the countryside then in a couple of weeks -- in early December, as in -- who knows whether or not the dark, sinuous clouds will rise into the sky again?
The stiff afternoon wind was all that kept me going. Still, I was so hot that when the sign I was painting started to flicker, I thought I was having a hypoglycemia attack, which usually starts with things flickering. But the letters weren't dancing, just the white background. Then I realized that fast-moving, ill- defined, jiggly shadows were animating the white space. I looked up and saw grasshoppers falling from the sky, lots of them. Then I looked higher and a whole black cloud of grasshoppers was moving from east to west, a fast-moving cloud maybe feet thick and a quarter mile wide, a dark river of grasshoppers stretching from horizon to horizon.
I was sitting on a gravelly spot so I lay back and looked straight up. It was like the time on the Kentucky farm back in the 50s or early 60s when early one winter morning huge snowflakes began falling from a single dark cloud above, and sunlight slanted in beneath the cloud absolutely exploding inside the big flakes. But here sunlight detonated in grasshopper wing-flutter, and it was something to see all that brilliant wing-flutter haloing the sun in blue sky.
I got up to go see what an individual locust looked like. As grasshoppers usually go, these were large ones, about 2. Around the head area they were striped like zebras. At first I thought there wasn't many on the ground, but then I scanned the weeds with my binoculars and got a sinking feeling in my stomach when I saw that in some places the weed patches showed more locust surface area than plant. I couldn't understand why they weren't eating, but when I took a step closer and they launched into the air like popcorn popping, I realized that they'd not been eating because they were watching me, trying to figure out what I was up to.
The insight that the locusts weren't behaving like mindless automatons on an instinctual rampage, but that each of the millions of little beings around me was acutely alert and taking care of its own business gave me a chill. Now the sky-river of flowing locusts got dark and some parts of the river were darker than others. The sky- river moved like a snake. Sometimes it flowed right overhead, sometimes it shifted to the south or north.
When a particularly dark smudge of them passed directly overhead I could hear them, a soft, wet sound a little like an enormous swarm of bees, but without the buzz, like an infinity of softly rustling cellophane. I've always wondered how giant locust clouds flew so high and so far, because no grasshopper I've ever seen could fly more than a stone's throw away. Now I could see that the locusts around me didn't seem much better at flying than normal grasshoppers.
I think I have it figured out that when a grasshopper on the ground flies up and catches the wind, he can fly a long way and be part of a locust cloud, but, if the wind dies on him, he just falls back like a regular grasshopper. The river of locusts streamed past for between 2. Some older people I talked to said they'd seen many locust clouds, but never any this big, while others said they'd seen even larger clouds. Even when the bases if a hull look like brass, they are still steel, just plated.
Like all shotgun shells, the. This means that like other shotgun shells it needs a hollow priming rod that is still strong enough to take multiple hits from a plastic tipped mallet. Due to the smaller diameter of the. What we found that did work well was a pair of magnetic bit holders for an electric drill.
Bothe of the kits we made store in the same small box. This tool is mainly used to insert the plastic wad and push it firmly into place. One end of the rod is shaped like a bowl for the first stage of the final crimp, the other is flat with beveled edges for the second stage of the final crimp. After the Spindex Star Crimp tool is used to start the crimp, the shell is placed into the tube to prevent deformation.
The tube is slightly beveled on the inside at the end where the shell inserts. Do not hammer this. Just a simple push of hand pressure will work. This kit is designed so that the only hammering is done during the de-capping, resizing, and re-priming operations. No hammering is done on a live, loaded shell. The scavenged piece of flat steel is only for placing the primer on for re-priming. The flat metal should not be used for anything else.
Use the wood, or a piece of cloth over the wood, for setting the base of the primed shell on during the rest of the reloading process. Make sure no spilled shot is left sitting on the wood. If you have a roll crimping tool, that can come in handy for this. However, that is usually a bit of overkill for the home reloader. Most game in the USA, which is shot with a firearm, is killed within yards or less of the hunter, generally much less. The reason for this is that terrain, trees, and other things simply block your line of sight.
Game is also very good at hiding and not being seen, which for them is instinctive, something which humans have to practice at doing. Spotting game is something of a lost art in this country which only a few still do well. Most hunters, even avid ones, tend to generally spot only a fraction of the wild game in their area, even the larger game such as deer.
In order to be good at spotting game, you need to be quiet and learn to use the terrain and natural lighting which changes as the day goes on to your advantage.
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They talk, they loudly sneeze, and they walk through the bush like a herd of elephants. If you want to spot game, you are going to have to learn not to do that. Be quiet, stop, close your eyes for a minute and listen to the world around you. Now you have a guideline to go by as you do not want to interrupt that natural background noise you just tuned in to.
You will learn to always keep on the lookout for signs of game animals, no matter what you are doing. In areas you plan to hunt, take some time out, be patient, and just be quiet, be still, and just watch. You will be amazed at what you can see. Be aware of where you are stepping, take your time. One old trick of the Native tribes on walking quietly is to step with your heel down, roll your feet along the outside edge, then apply pressure to the front of your foot as you take the next step.
Practice this and you might be surprised at just how quiet you can walk when you get accustomed to it. Due to customer demand, LL Bean just changed the formula in the soles of their Maine Hunting Boot to give the hunter greater feel of the ground, the way they used to. Many hard core hunters, especially some hard core rural bow hunters, will often bow hunt barefoot if the weather permits. Women are dynamite for spotting game.
Often if the man is the primary hunter of the family, he and his wife or significant other, or a daughter that is old enough, should learn to hunt as a team, especially when hunting larger game like deer. If you have only one pair of binoculars, or only one pair of large binoculars, have her use them. The reason for this is that men and women literally see the world differently. The way a woman sees and how her brain interprets the images her eyes send is a bit different than how it works in a man. This is a scientific fact. Women are normally much more tuned to colors and to patterns than men are.
Women tend to see shades of colors and patterns more acutely than a man does. One thing we suggest but we also mention in the Trapping chapter is how to do a quick game census of the area. Take a powerful spotlight or a really powerful flashlight, and shine it in an area at night, catching the game by surprise. You might be stunned at how much is out there, especially pigs and deer.
Another way to do this is to just sit still and quiet at night in a hide, or a tree stand, or even your car with the windows down. Then with a pair of 50mm binoculars just start watching for animals and movement. In recent years, the fans of the Mad Max scenario have latched upon a new spontaneous, universal, obliteration threat for civilization. This has some in a state of near panic.
A primary goal of the Center for Security Policy in the last few years has been to promote the starting of a pre-emptive war with Iran. One of the tools they have used to try and sell this new war to the public is scare tactics with EMP as a doomsday device, and the supposed threat of the Iranians attacking the US with it.
The Center for Security Policy is drawing some of the source of its scare tactics from the EMP Commission which the government funded in Reports by scientists in stated that much of the effects of EMP or a geomagnetic storm could be mitigated by simply retrofitting a new, relatively inexpensive grounding system to the power transmission lines. Aside from the difficulty of anyone but a well-funded government with developed, strategic missiles or space launch vehicles getting hold of or manufacturing a thermonuclear fusion warhead of the size needed about 1.
The effects over such a wide area are actually quite random, and can vary wildly upon a wide variety of factors such as weather, etc. The effects upon electrical systems are similar to a lightning strike and are just about as unpredictable. A geomagnetic storm would have similar effects to the speculated, theoretical effects of an EMP attack. The Carrington Event of caused some telegraph wires to burst into flame, and even electrocuted a few telegraph operators. Scientists consider the solar super-storm known as the Carrington Event of to be a once in years event.
Scientists with the NAS have estimated that of the approximately 2, major transformers in the USA that are vulnerable to a severe geomagnetic storm, they expect about to be knocked out. Odds are the effects of a worst case EMP attack would be similar, or less intense. So, in a worst case scenario, you are looking at a crippling of the grid, not a permanent obliteration of it. We like to rely upon facts and known examples when we can, not wild speculation or propaganda from neo-con think-tanks run by political hacks who have an agenda. Sarajevo, the capital of Bosnia and Herzegovina and the location of the Winter Olympics, suffered the longest siege of a capital city in the history of modern warfare.
The siege lasted three times longer than the Siege of Stalingrad and a year longer than the Siege of Leningrad. During its 44 month siege, the city was completely cut off for about a year except for NATO air flights. With little or no preparation, the power grid on that modern city went down and stayed down, followed by public utilities and the health care system.
Official law and order began breaking down and food shipments stopped, except for air drops that began later by NATO. People often had to crawl under enemy artillery fire to get the air dropped food. Food and medicine, however, was much harder to obtain, and more valuable, than either guns or ammunition. Out of an estimated population of , in the city proper at the time the siege started, the official death toll within the city from the entire 44 month siege was 11, dead, mostly civilians, and that includes starvation, disease, lack of health care, rampant crime with a break down of law enforcement, an average of artillery shells per day landing in the city, and sniper attacks.
All the while, the grid was totally down for most people in that modern city. Humans, as a whole, are a tough and adaptable species, and they do not stay in panic mode indefinitely. They adapt to their situation after a short while, and they then become very survival oriented. These traits are hardwired into all of us. Having pain killers, seriously strong ones, not Tylenol or aspirin, can be very important, especially if surgery is called for. Other grievous injuries could also warrant a high end painkiller, such as when a major fracture needs repair.
Those dying from terminal illness will also need something effective to put away the pain. In a long term situation, the need for this can become acute. Unfortunately, we live in an era of massive drug abuse, and where American law enforcement has gone somewhat mental on trying to keep people away from having high end painkillers. The result is that unless you have a real prescription and an immediate need for these drugs, obtaining them and storing them as a personal stockpile can be tricky and risky, even if you plan on using them only for legitimate medical purposes.
So, what do people do in the long term, during a prolonged crisis, especially if it is too difficult to stockpile much of these beforehand?
Well, learning hypnosis can be surprisingly effective in many situations. Unfortunately, it requires a fair amount of training and practice. There is also the fact that its effectiveness can vary greatly between individuals. He had seen a lot and done a lot. He had led an interesting life, to say the least.
He was dying slowly of cancer, and it was terminal. Charlie had gotten to the point where he was starting to need a regular supply of serious pain killers, and he knew it was only going to get worse. Not wanting to spend a fortune on high end, prescription pain killers and not having the fortune to pay for it anyway or health insurance for that matter , Charlie came up with a very Charlie solution to the situation. So, he was planning ahead. You see, the opium poppy is just a flower, and the seeds can even be bought online.
The flowers are actually quite pretty and ornamental. When you see the large flower bulbs, you slice them lightly with a razor blade and collect the milky sap that seeps out of the cut, kind of like a milkweed. That collected sap is opium. This is what Charlie was using to cure his pain with. You can process opium to make morphine, which has long been both a powerful medical anesthetic and a powerful painkiller prescribed to terminal cancer patients.
However, Charlie just stayed with the original, organic product and it worked well for him. Things were going smooth, until one day Charlie got into a heated argument with his girlfriend over something inconsequential, as such arguments often are. She storms off yelling that she is going to call the cops on him for all of his marijuana plants.
They were quite polite and took great care not to damage the pretty flowers in their nice, neat rows. A wide variety of various things capable of causing concern can happen, given enough time. A CME hitting the Earth is kind of like hitting a fly in the air with a bullet. Those are simply the numbers speaking. Many articles have already been written about the numbers on this, but these include:.
The worst is the derivatives bubble. A trillion is a million times a million. It is a thousand times a billion. If Obamacare had not been enacted, those in Washington D. However, Obamacare will be the blasting cap for the coming economic crash. The USA is already teetering on the edge of a major economic depression right now. Obamacare starts on January 1, , which is not very far away. Do not expect it to all happen overnight though, giving people a clean starting line. The crash of and the years that followed. There have been a lot of assumptions and speculations about the coming economic collapse as a collapse of civilization, Mad Max, etc.
No economic crash alone has ever destroyed a modern government and its bureaucracy, leaving a country in a state of pure anarchy. This is the case no matter how bad it gets, even to the point of the complete destruction of the national currency. Such events simply make governments more brutal and willing to bend or ignore their own laws. This is true even with countries that have had to lop more than twenty two zeros off of their inflated currency, such as Zimbabwe formerly Rhodesia , or governments that had to simply abandon their currency and issue a new currency pegged to the currency of a foreign nation, such as Yugoslavia in In post WWI Germany, the inflation was so bad at one point that housewives were heating their homes with bundles of worthless money.
Eventually, however, they did wind up with a dictator and tyranny. All of this can also be said of what happens to a government during a famine, and one result of a massive economic crash could easily be a famine. There is always some food to be had, and the first at the dinner table are always the ruling elite plus the troops and enforcers which keep them in power.
Another was how Lenin and his ruling elite stayed fed and warm in Moscow during the famine winter of Famine dead lying on sidewalk as people go about their business, Ukraine One thing history shows is that rural people in a fixed location often suffered worse than those in the cities during a famine. A key reason for this is that all too often what tends to happen in a famine is that the government first restricts travel, especially into and out of the cities.
The cities are then put on rations. They essentially lock down their power base. The government then sends an overwhelming force of well-armed troops and enforcers into the countryside to strip it of food, like locusts, and bring it back to the cities. The ultimate prepper is the US Federal Government. They have spent trillions of dollars over the last few decades prepping and planning to survive anything and everything.
They have prepared to survive things far worse than another Great Depression. The US Federal Government has massive storage facilities above and below ground, with food, fuel, guns, bombs, ammo, helicopters, medical supplies, spare nuclear weapons, etc. You name it; they have stored it, and usually in significant quantity. For years they even kept a grain elevator in Colorado filled with opium seed. Sitting in deep salt mines since the darkest days of the Cold War, the US Federal Government has stored vast numbers of pallets of a new replacement currency in case the value of the US dollar has been destroyed.
It was expected that a nuclear war would wipe out the value of the existing currency, much like what many expect to happen during the coming Second Great Depression. They can do math, they know what is coming. Like all other governments faced with a crisis, no matter what happens, their troops and enforcers will be paid with whatever new, official currency the Feds issue. The Feds also view local governments in a crisis as sub-units of itself, and hence the local authorities will be paid, fed, and supplied with fuel and ammo, no matter how bad it gets.
In a worst-case scenario all they have to do is follow orders, they get paid, and their families get fed. However, there is one slender finger of government which has been shown itself to be vulnerable to a crisis, both in the past and also recently, and that is social services welfare, housing, etc. You cannot depend upon these. The government not going away and civilization not vanishing means that everyone will be faced with a scenario which too many preppers and survivalists simply are not prepared to face.
Unlike the mythical Mad Max scenario, this is a reality that people will not be able to simply shoot their way out of. This happened all of the time during the last Great Depression. Millions will still have to pay mortgages, rents, and property taxes with the official government or central bank issued currency at that time. For taxes and mortgages, the government and the banks will NOT take sacks of beans, a few chickens, or a case of ammo in barter.
The banks most likely massively consolidated at that point will be playing on this since they plan on grabbing as much real estate as possible in this country for as cheap as possible. This is not speculation. This is what happened during the last Great Depression. You can bet that the big international banks and a few foreign governments will be chomping at the bit for those sales to happen.
For real prosperity to happen for the working, middle class, a nation needs manufacturing jobs. After the crash, the USA as a whole will still be functioning, but it will be knocked down to the economic level of Latin American nations like Mexico or Bolivia. Unless things in Washington D. Even at the moment the situation is not pretty.
They might as well be daydreaming of having a James Bond super-villain volcano fortress. Even after the crash, you will then still have to worry about property taxes, just like during the last Great Depression. Remember, the banks and their buddies in the local government want your land, and they want it for cheap. For those who remain stuck in a city, they will have a rough row to hoe. Cities during a major crash have their own brand of misery. Many expect cities to simply empty out, like in a fiction novel, and the hungry masses to scour the countryside. If you get stuck in a city, all is not lost.
Sarajevo after months of siege. During the first year, when the siege was at its peak, most civilians were cut off from electricity and regular food shipments for months. However, those that survived were deeply effected by the event. If you already have a place out in the country, self-sufficient in water, food, etc. Those who preach that getting a rural retreat is what you MUST do are essentially preaching a dream that is unobtainable in any practical sense by most working, middle class families. You can fill a rented apartment or a mortgaged house with food, but what if you get evicted?
The answer is quite simple, if you do not have a retreat to go to, then bring the retreat with you. After all, nomadic people have been doing this quite successfully for thousands of years. This is not true. To be nomadic is simply to have the ability to relocate when you need to. However, when the situation calls for it, the ability of nomads to move is why they are some of the oldest and most durable cultures on Earth. They are the original survivalists. For the Locusts on the Horizon project, one of the goals was to have something portable, yet sustainable.
To be sustainable for long periods of time you needed a homestead with similar capabilities when compared to a fixed location retreat or a farm, yet still be portable.