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Borrego Springs, CA

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

The queen of litter

Yep, that’s what I’ve been so far this week.  My sidekick, Rachel, finished her internship last Friday, and headed back to Cincinnati.  That means there’s no more raucous drive-by grabbings for litter pick up.  I’m on my own and slowly plod down the refuge roads gathering refuse. 73 Tamarac NWR, 201320

Considering how thoughtless and uncaring many people are about our refuges, I suppose it’s job security.  No matter how many bottles, cans, and other garbage I pick up along the roadsides, there seems to be a never ending supply. 

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Luckily, when I get fed up with this ‘crap’, I can take a slight detour down a few roads that are gated and not open to the public at this time of the year.  It’s here that I enjoy the unspoiled nature, and find indications that summer is waning.  The goldenrod has begun to flower, and the vibrant reds of the Sumac fruits are beginning to appear.  Sumac is one of the first trees to turn color in the fall, and today I found the first red leaves.

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It seems that summer was a little late in coming to northern Minnesota this year, and already I’m noticing signs of fall.  Berries are ripening, the birds have finished nesting and are done singing, and the post breeding quiet is descending.  I still hear the haunting call of the loon occasionally, but time is moving on. 

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I’ve been watching the progress of several pairs of Trumpeter Swans.  One pair still has two signets, another has three signets surviving.  Sadly, the pair that frequents the Chippewa picnic area along the Otter Tail River seems to have lost their young.  Life isn’t always easy out in the wild.

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Tomorrow, I get a break from picking up litter.  I’ll be leading a tour of the refuge.  The tour is scheduled each Thursday during the summer, but you never know if anyone will show up for it.  I hope some folks show up tomorrow so I can show them what a great place this is.

Thanks for stopping by… talk to you later,  Judy

31 comments:

  1. Well-written blog, Judy. The seasons continue to come and go in nature's unfolding story. As to litter, I just don't get it that people continue to spoil the countryside.

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  2. wow. . .it doesn't seem possible that the leaves could already be turning. ..that was a fast summer season. . .how much longer will you be there?

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  3. Shame about the litter but glad you can take an enjoyable break.

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  4. Once in a while I would try to look at picking up litter as job security, but it's a challenge. I usually just would get fed up with the carelessness. It was mostly kids of course, so from time to time I'd round up a brigade to go out to the playground and do a sweep. Saved me lots of grief.

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  5. We don't have anything changing colors yet but I can feel the time coming soon. Hard to believe. Almost time for us to head south again. When we were in Florida we watched the ducklings dwindle down in number due to the alligators. I know everything has to eat to survive but it is sad.

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  6. We are seeing some leaves beginning to change here too. And the nights are starting to feel like Fall. Litter don't get me started.....I was going to do a blog on it and the site that we had to clean up I need to do that to go along with yours, and I could rant a little too.

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  7. Seems to me that some where along the line ... the volunteers or people who do care about our nature would catch these rat bastards in the act of littering... can't stand it. I've stopped a couple ... asked one woman why would she put a coke can under a log? I was extremely curious. This was a young Mother type ... well groomed educated sounding person!

    Her answer???? oh, the pay people to clean up. Well? then why would you put it under a log? harder for the help to see? She walked away. I picked up the X%^& can ... walked past her and put in the trash bin ... I mean it was all of about 12 feet away...

    Drives me insane!

    Beautiful pictures, Judy.. as always.

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  8. You wonder why people would come all the way out to an isolated spot in nature, and then trash it.

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  9. I suppose guiding the potential litter bugs is better than picking up after them. Maybe as part of the tour, they could get some hands on experience in picking up after themselves.

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  10. That is the cutest signet EVER! What a great photo.

    Wish I could be in your tour group...how neat that would be for Joe and I.



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  11. Thank you for making the earth a better place for ALL of us.

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  12. To everything there is a season... Colors change, leaves turn, fruit ripens. And after that it may seem like things are dying. In truth, it is only another cycle of the grand scheme of nature. In a very short time, new life will once more appear and the cycle will begin again. Thanks for the reminder and for the beautiful photos. Love the red sumac leaves.

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  13. We hear you on the litter. It's really unbelievable that so many people still litter. We are constantly picking up garbage all around the park and we see lots of it on the country roads that we drive on to get to town. Maybe one day people will start to listen.

    Love the photos of the swan and the signet. Life can be tough in the wilds for sure.

    Ruth
    www.travelwithkevinandruth.com

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  14. So sorry your partner in litter went back home. Drive by litter must be better than get out and pick up litter. The nights are getting colder! The Sumac is beautiful when it turns color. I hope you have a great turn out for your tour! The museum has programs every Thursday so it is highly unlikely that I will ever be able to come:(

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  15. Growing up my Dad was very vigilant about trash on road ways and in public areas .... Coming from a large family the lesson seemed to be heeded, at any rate not long ago, at a family get-to-gether picnic I heard one of the 13 year old great grandson's say, "my Mom told us GRANDPAPA always told the kids to keep the roads and the parks tidy for the next guy" ..... Pretty good that lesson trickled down four generations ...... Sure wish folks took pride in "keeping the land we share tidy" !!!!

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  17. Saw the same thing here in Acadia yesterday, the goldenrod and summac in bloom, and though here comes fall. Of course my post on it will be days from now. :-(( I guess until there are SERIOUSLY hefty fines and folks to issue them, the trashy will not stop being so. I just don't get how if you carried it in, it is harder to carry it out.

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  18. Goldenrod and Sumac leaves... time for county fairs and for school to start soon. Seems like smells and sights bring back old memories and mean certain things.

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  19. Hi Judy! Ordinarily I don't like "flat" places, but I DO love riparian areas, so your picture at the top is very inviting! Lovely fall colors on those flowers and plants, too.
    Here in North Carolina, we're still waiting for summer to truly make her appearance! I hope we get some before fall!

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  20. There seems to have been a touch of fall in the air here in Montana the last week or so.

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  21. It makes me furious to see people dump litter. There is no excuse for such behavior. Sad about the cygnets. Our swan pair lost their babies too. I think I was more sad than they were.

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  22. The 'Litter Lady of Blogland'?? Ufdah! Think I'll stick with 'The Bird Lady'!

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  23. Hard to imagine leaves turning color already. The Midwest got short-changed on summer this year.

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  24. It's too bad you lost Rachael. She was a good helper for you.

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  25. I don't want there to be signs of fall already. We don't need another extra long winter. There's a gathering here in the Twin Cities in mid-October I'd like to be here for so no freezing nights before then, please.

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  26. Litter drives me crazy- Every morning as we walk on the property I see bottles and plastic bags floating in our beautiful waterway and it makes me cranky. That signet is adorable.

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  27. We've had litter duty on a couple of workamping jobs. It was our least favorite task, and we found that the more litter we picked up the madder we got at the offenders. Of course we never caught anyone in the act.

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  28. How come no pictures of the different kinds of litter you found.

    When we lived in NJ on a National Park, they instituted a big campaign where they removed all the trash receptacles from the park and had signs telling the visitors to pack out what they packed in.

    Guess how well that worked... :cO

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  29. I'm racing through a few hundred blog posts, trying to catch up from being off,and of Internet, then working extra.

    I read your title as Queen of the Litter, and thought you meant something like Pick of the Litter. You, of course, are that too. :) I just cleaned a little litter out of my work truck, but most people here respect the refuge.

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  30. Nice Post.Thanks for Sharing this in your Blog

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