June 6, 2023 – Everyone has their “What I did During Covid Lockdown 2020” stories, one of my stories is the deep dive I did in reading a width and breath of blogs and interesting out of the way corners of the internet. One of the blog posts that really sticks in my head was Peter Grey’s Crow Work, a retelling of how when he lived in the West Country of England and Cornwall how he would go pick up litter and the refuse of workings at megalithic / sacred sites.
This made a big impact on me. As 2020 wound into 2021, one of the things I noticed wherever I went was just how MUCH LITTER was everywhere. It was like the world broke and folks forgot how to save their trash for a rubbish bin or trash can.
Over New Year’s weekend 2021, I took my brother, his girlfriend, and their friend out to do some trash pick up along their street in Arizona. Then I continued picking up trash a couple of Saturdays in a row, just as the weather warmed up and the rattlesnakes were waking up – my brother loaned me a long aluminum trash pick up stick.
This past winter, 2022-2023, was the biggest snow year ever in recorded California history for the Sierra Nevada Mountains. I am currently in Mammoth Lakes and the Mountain still has more snow on June 5th than most years do in the middle of the snow/winter season. The Twin Lakes waterfall is still 70% frozen and there is thick ice still on the lakes. The Lake Mary road still has yet to be plowed, it is closed. So is Rock Creek Road, and who knows when the Tioga Pass road, the eastern road into Yosemite NP, will open. It is crazy to see so much snow in June.
Since most of the snow berms from the snow plows are still melting in town, the sheer amount of litter everywhere is also amazing in a bad way. I have now filled two tall kitchen trash bags with refuse of all varieties as I have walked Sweet Pea on the town’s paved walking/bike trails. It is rather horrifying what is coming up as the snow melts.
Then we saw a young, scrawny coyote walking up to people begging yesterday. I put Sweet Pea in the car, as I did not want her to become coyote sushi… But I also don’t want the young coyotes to eat plastic, old food wrappers, and discarded wet wipes in desperation. So today, I walked up to Shady Rest Park and was able to fill up a whole trash bag in less than 30 mins while kids played team soccer and softball. A few parents gave me a strange look.
People, let’s stop destroying our one and only home. Help me do the crow work and pick up trash.