Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Earth Day vs Science March

It's hard to know where to put your efforts when there are two worthwhile events on the same day.  I'm going to choose the Science March this Saturday because I can get back to picking up trash anytime.  Minneapolis Park and Rec have almost 40 sites for folks to choose from. Just look online and pick up your bags and gloves from one closest to your home.  Of course you want to clean up your own neighborhood first.  If I was going to host a work site it would be the green strip along the Mississippi River and West River Parkway between the Plymouth Bridge and the Broadway Bridge.  It's a mess right now and it's not listed as one of the work sites for Earth Day.  I started working up there today. It would be better to have an Earth Day event on a Friday there because you might get help from the businesses across the street.  But on Saturday I'll be at the Science March.  And if you ask me why I will leave you with their Mission Statement from their website. "The March for Science champions robustly funded and publicly communicated science as a pillar of human freedom and prosperity.  We unite as a diverse, nonpartisan group to call for science that upholds the common good and for political leaders and policy makers to enact evidence based policies in the public interest."

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Canoeing in the Creek

Bassett Creek was not in the best shape today.  With the recent rains some stuff got flushed out of the tunnel.  At first I thought someone was exploring the underground tunnel that goes a mile or so through downtown, but then I realized no one was in that boat.  The boat registration is there in the front and the name is partially readable. Is that SS Mustard Gas or SS Mustang Sally.  Anyways it's not in the best of shape.  That's an old refrigerator door floating in all the debris.

With the tree that went down last July this once scenic view will not be included in anyone's prom or wedding photo shoot any time soon.  There are several large pieces of Styrofoam floating in the mix and I took one out and broke it down for the trash barrel, but that's all I could reach.

A week or two ago I was picking up some trash on this same route and was surprised by how clean it looked.  When I got home I saw a Facebook post about a group of volunteers who had just picked up a couple dozen bags of trash that same morning. I think those volunteers came from several of the restaurants in the North Loop neighborhood.  I must have been right behind them but never ran into them.  In any case I know old broken glass can always be found around the creek if you know where to look so I worked on that.

I did manage to find this old garbage disposal in the weeds.  That thing is heavier than it looks.


Saturday, April 1, 2017

Cash in the Creek

If you needed some cash fast, would you hop the fence and scavenge quarters yards from the top of Minnehaha Falls?  Weirdly, I've had that discussion and decided that if need be I would tether myself to the bridge and go out so early in the morning as not to embarrass myself or have someone call 911 on my behalf.  But that's just beer talk and not really what any normal person would do.  Anyways, I happened to be at the top of the falls this morning so I could watch my fantasy play out.

The real reason I was at Minnehaha Park was to walk the path down to the river and hope to see any early spring plants popping up.  In the wet marshy areas along the creek a colony of Skunk Cabbage was emerging.

The leaves, when crushed, are supposed to smell like skunk but are attractive to insects in spite of the funky odor.  Some people might plant these in their garden if they want to repel small animals that want to feast on their tomatoes.

I came across this interesting tree on the trail.  I'm calling it the bubble gum tree.  If I you chew gum in the forest this is apparently where you leave it. 

There were quite a few folks in the park with orange vests on this morning and I finally asked one of them what kind of project they were working on.  They were looking for anything related to a young man who had disappeared a month ago and last seen on one of the nearby bridges.  I hope he has just gone off on an adventure but that is probably not the case.

There were some river turtles sunning themselves and a couple dozen folks fishing along the banks today.  Several Park and Rec employees were picking up trash.  One hiker with a garbage sack was doing her thing picking up litter along the trail too. Nice job.  I have been feeling as lazy as that turtle on the shore, but  I guess it's time for me to get started picking up a little litter in the parks too.