Winter Slobs Require Springtime Cleanup
Spring is like taking a beautiful heirloom quilt off the bed and finding a tattered blanket and stained sheet underneath.
When the beautiful blanket of white snow is off the land, the ugliness underneath can be shocking.
We were busy last winter fouling our nest, and one can only despair that Mother Nature will be able to put another pretty cover over our mess. Nature can only cover up so much and the ugly stains of our detritus will remain, sometimes visible, sometimes hidden beneath the bushes.
Out comes the rake to pull a massive pile of salty sand off the front lawn where it was deposited by the snowplow. They sure didn’t scrimp on sand last winter. My hurting back is proof of that as I rake, rake, and rake some more, then shovel it all into the wheelbarrow and dump it in the woods. Could the snowplow contractor be in cahoots with my Chiropractor, Steve Gagnon?
Mother Nature contributed to the debris on my lawn, too, so out comes the chain saw to cut up downed limbs and the rake to scrape together the leaves and twigs.
This work goes on for days, interrupted only by the need to catch a trout and tend to my work.
Resigned to these rights of spring, I remain disgusted by the rest of the rubbish that surrounds me this spring, tossed hither and yon by slobs who seem to have no notion that the stuff they toss throughout the winter is revealed in all its ugliness come spring.
Apparently the loss of a dime deposit is of no consequence to many people because there are a lot of bottles and cans along the roadsides.
Walking to lunch at Mount Vernon’s Post Office Café, along Minnehonk Lake, I was appalled at the collection of trash floating along the shore.
Along Route 41, the Hannah Hill Dump, also known as my woodlot, took in its share of garbage during the winter, ranging from tires to a thousand bags from McDonald’s and Dunkin Donuts. If the world runs on Dunkin, it stops running at my woodlot in Mount Vernon.
Bad as it is to spend a day picking up all this crud, its worse knowing these slobs will continue tossing garbage into my woods as we progress through the summer. I can’t keep up with it.
It’s hard to figure how some folks were able to discard a sneaker and tee shirt as they road by last winter, but I picked them up too.
With apology to Robert Frost, I revise his famous poem this way: Whose woods these are I think I know. His house is in the village, though. He will not see me stopping here to watch his woods fill up with my garbage.
I appreciate the effort of the Maine Warden Service to catch illegal dumpers, but few are found and prosecuted. And every year, more land is posted because of this problem.
Most disheartening to this sportsman is the garbage in the woods. How could a fellow angler so fail to appreciate the pristine surroundings of the beautiful brook behind my house that he would drop a potato chip bag right there beside the best trout hole? I let it sit there for a week, to see if another angler would pick it up. No luck.
In the brook, I’ve had to dispose of a dock that the owner failed to secure in Minnehonk Lake last winter, an empty can of Budweiser, and a plastic worm container, plus some fishing line.
Some anglers ask permission to cross my property to fish the brook and pond behind our house, while others just stride across the lawn as if they owned it. All I ever ask is that they treat the property as if it’s their own. Don’t they clean up their own property? Why am I constantly on litter patrol out there?
One year someone busted one of my chairs that sits along the brook and then there was the year someone stole the outboard motor on a canoe I kept back there on the pond. Now I only put out my worst canoe, unwilling to offer the temptation of a good one to some thief.
We’re supposed to be a state of environmentalists, constantly on the alert to join the latest environmental cause, from saving the Canadian lynx to slowing down global warming. Is that consistent with tossing litter out the window of your car as it passes my woodlot or dropping your potato chip bag next to my brook?
For solace, I look to the trees, where God will soon provide a colorful array of warblers for our delight. Staring through the binoculars, the splendid yellow, red and blue coats on the warblers are sharp, while everything in the foreground remains fuzzy. Sadly, that’s all you can hope for until summer spreads its coat over our winter garbage.