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Borrego Springs, CA

Monday, June 3, 2013

Mother Nature vs. Human Nature

When I went in to work this morning, I was given a rather exciting, to me, assignment.  One of the biologists was going to blast out a beaver dam that was threatening to flood a major county thoroughfare.  I was asked to photograph not only the explosion of the dam, but document how other volunteers would close the road while the blasting took place.  In stepped Mother Nature.  Seems with all of the recent rains, half of the dam was washed away, so no blasting was necessary. So that assignment was cancelled.

IMG_3127That left Student Conservation Association intern (SCA) Rachel and I with an assignment to spiff up the Woodpecker walking trail that leads to an overlook on Blackbird Lake.  Thankfully, she is young and strong enough to operate the weed-whacker while I cleaned the interpretive signs along the trail.  We both had all the required safety equipment with us…hard hats, safety goggles, and ear plugs.  We ended up making three different trips to this short trail today trying to fix a problem with the signs.  We weren’t totally successful, so it will take another trip.

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We had several other stops around the refuge to clean up viewpoints and trim vegetation.  At the Balsam Lake Kiosk we were able to document the nesting site of a pair of common loons.  The biologist will be interested in that.  We enjoyed watching mama sitting on the nest site while dad loon brought her dried vegetation to build up the nest.  It was quite a ways away, so we did most of our viewing through the scope at the kiosk. 

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After lunch, we were off to tackle the job of dealing with the results of Human Nature along several refuge roads.  AKA: litter pickup.  Skies had once again clouded over which posed a problem with picture taking.  The beauty of litter pickup is that we can stop whenever we want to observe wildlife we encounter along the way like this little song sparrow.

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Surprisingly, we found an Eastern wood-pewee willing to pose for a few seconds along one of the lakes.  They’re usually high in the trees along forest borders.  Most of our time was taken up with plucking beer cans from the roadside, but we progressed to wine cooler boxes and then on to hard liquor bottles.  Seems a lot of folks like to drink and drive the back roads, and toss their beverage containers out the car window.  I remember doing that once in my youth, but only once.  Rather disgusting if you ask me.

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We found this large animal bone stuck in a tree surrounded by all sorts of cans and such.  I’m thinking people go down the road and try to hit the bone with their rubbish.  Get a life, people!

There was a massive trash pick-up day on the refuge just before I arrived, but that didn’t stop us from gathering enough trash to fill three big black bags.  It’s so sad that people disrespect our wild places.  I’d like to pop all those folks in the nose.

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                                               I think I’ll mentally fly away instead…. THE END!

Thanks for stopping by… talk to you later,  Judy

29 comments:

  1. With all the warning signs of DO NOT LITTER and fines and such ... I have yet to see anyone fined. I hope others have. Obviously we need more active fine police.... but then we don't have any money and the dipshits who thinks it's cute and fun .. to HEY .. I'm gonna throw my stuff out and mess this place up for people because I'm a dipshit and that's what dipshits do.

    dipshits

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  2. Well, don't know how to follow Carolyn's comment. I do have a lot of petpeeves...littering is at the top of the list followed by pet owners who don't pick up poop is the bark park!

    On a much happier note...I am so glad you saw the loons nesting and saw the Eastern wood peewee!

    Hugs to Emma!

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  3. Gotta love Carolyn's comments. Yup, she called it right.

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  4. People who are hell-bent on messing up the earth with their litter shouldn't be going to a refuge anyway. They certainly don't care about nature.

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  5. I'll never understand trash people. Today as we walked down to see the lake edge for fishing we picked up lots of trash. Why bother going out to see nature if all you think about is dumping your trash? GRrrrrr

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  6. Pop them on the nose for me too. It bugs the heck out of me to see all the litter people leave behind. I also detest cigarette butts. I'm not fond of people releasing balloons either because I've seen those messes washing up on a Florida beach.

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  7. Too bad you don't get a refund on all those containers like we do. Then you don't mind picking them up. Our pet peeve here at the campground is all the cigarette butts that are just thrown down on the ground.

    We haven't seen or heard any loons yet but I am hoping that we will soon.

    Ruth
    www.travelwithkevinandruth.com

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  8. Can't say it any better than Carolyn!! Even in Oregon with our bottle deposit and high littering fines, there is always trash (and bottles and cans) in just about every public place. Maybe a bop on the nose would work better than a fine!!

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  9. So sorry that part of your day had to be spent cleaning up after the inconsiderate. I am really sorry to hear that fines and deposits don't stop the litterers. I always wished every state would do both. But on the bright side, the rest of the assignments seem just right for you. Won't the beavers rebuild??

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  10. When we hike any trail, we throw a plastic bag in our backpack. We have picked up many a can, sock, shirt, etc. I am with you...Get a life people.

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  11. I've been known to honk at people in front of me who throw trash out the window and of course, they have no clue that it's because they're littering that I'm honking. Frustrating for everyone else who is trying to do their best to recycle, clean up the environment, attend trash collecting events for our parks and preserves and support efforts to keep nature pristine and pure. Grrrrrrrrr......

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  12. I just don't get it--why throw your trash out the window. I followed a car in Glacier National Park heading up the Going To The Sun road--several people were tossing trash out the window. I gave their license number to a ranger but who knows if he did anything.

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    1. I think any crime (and littering is a crime) committed in a national park has to be tried before a federal judge. I can see the headline now: "National Park Dipshit Litterer Gets Life." Love it.

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  13. Only goes to prove, "You can't fix stupid"..

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  14. It's sad that some people have no appreciation for the natural world...

    Cheryl
    http://www.desertdiva.net

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  15. I agree littering in such a beautiful place is sad. When Kevin and I go on hikes, I often bring a trash bag with me. I usually end up with at least a half bag of trash each time. Sad.

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  16. Some folks just don't get it. If I dumped my trash in their front yard they would be mad as hell. "you can't fix stupid"

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  17. I am totally bummed out. I wanted to see photos of the dam being blasted. Geez. Us guys like to see stuff go boom. As to littering, I don't get it. Must be that some people are just plain slobs/pigs.

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  18. A great motto I try to live by. . .Leave it Better than YOU found it. . .cigarette butts chap my hide. . .selfishness!

    On a brighter note. . .the loons were awesome!

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  19. I'd like to be on the jury that tried to find you guilty of assault when the litterers ran into your fist.Littering is such an illogical and boorish habit.

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  20. Sad that it's only a very small percentage of the population that causes all the litter and ruins the beauty of nature for all the rest of us. I'll be glad to encourage these selfish litter bugs into meeting your fist!

    Actually it might be better to give them a swift, hard kick in the @$$ to give them a lesson they won't forget!!!

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  21. Nothing worse than folks "getting back to nature" and then leaving their garbage behind. We always find trash and junk left out on the Refuges and in the National forests, and often we are miles and miles from the trailhead! We take a bag and pick up the items that we can manage. Usually a couple of cans, bottles, candy bar wrappers, etc. Found the sole of of a tennis shoe on our last hike.

    Like Janice, cigarette butts are my pet peeve. Are they too heavy to carry back out???

    Mark

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  22. I have often wished I had my camera with me to catch them in the act...and with their license plate # to boot. I guess I will have to settle walking with a trash bag and picking up after the slobs.

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  23. I am constantly irked by how many people are really pigs! I also have to admit I was looking forward to pictures of the blast:)

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  24. Amazing photos..but...amazing that people are so stupid too.

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  25. Nice post.Thanks for sharing this in your blog

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