Giving a hoot, or: Maybe the deer want iTunes

Rednecks have such a high-caliber sense of humor.
Rednecks have such a high-caliber sense of humor.

“Meadows resemble showroom floors / owls fly out of oven doors…”

Broken Household Appliance National Forest, Grandaddy

There are homicides that I am willing to agree are justified, yet try as I might I cannot come up with a single, semi-reasonable rationalization for just junking your out-of-date iPod (so 2011) in nature.

Is it possible that there is a significant portion of the population raised in junkyards and never before exposed to the outside world? Do some Americans actually hold the perverse belief that littering is their right? Are there people who don’t know who Woodsy Owl is? I know the latter can’t be the case because he was featured in the South Park episode that parodied Inception (don’t pollute, m’kay).

Pine needles are much more comfortable than shell casings.
Pine needles are much more comfortable than shell casings.

Even under the ludicrously broad “mixed use” definition that applies to much of our public land, the ongoing desecration is becoming more pointedly idiotic and occurring with greater frequency. A recent article in The New York Times focused on the vandalism of natural landmarks and flora in national parks in the southwest; yes, the kids today are tagging the great saguaros.

I previously complained about the increasing litter and number of incidents associated with shooting on public lands. I also griped about those who feel the need to add to otherwise artful petroglyphs that served a much more pragmatic purpose than letting people know “Dave was here.”

This tree probably had it coming.
This tree probably had it coming.

But the problem stretches beyond the mouth-breathing morons whose most lasting marks on this world will be their initials on cactus and their disregard for those who follow. On a recent hike to what we thought would be a relatively remote and unspoiled patch of Pike National Forest, we encountered first the familiar ground covering of gun shells, beer cans/bottles and junk-food wrappers. The folks who used this area didn’t even bother with clay pigeons; they just shot the surrounding trees to shreds.

As we continued into what we hoped would eventually bear at least a slight resemblance to the natural world, the trash we passed included discarded computers (yes, multiple) and an iPod (toxic battery included) among other modern garbage. While the nearby beavers have advanced engineering skills, I don’t believe they have yet figured out how to recycle lithium.

Wyatt the dog: naturally filthy.
Wyatt the dog: naturally filthy.

I remember traveling rural roads in central Illinois as a child and seeing the occasional couch, refrigerator, bed or stove that had been chucked into the trees. “Who does that?” I once asked The Front Seat.

“Idiots,” came the answer.

Idiocy is no excuse anymore. We have computers now.

I know. I’ve seen them in the forest.

7 thoughts on “Giving a hoot, or: Maybe the deer want iTunes

Add yours

  1. I don’t even know how I ended up here, but I thought this post was good. I do not know who you are but certainly you are going to a famous blogger if you aren’t already
    😉 Cheers!


  2. All true by the way, though here where I live in Canada things are considerably better than the past but far far far from perfect. What you describe goes beyond littering, this speaks to gluttony. I normally refrain from commenting on topics along this line, as I tend to come off all preachy and whinny -sold or destroyed my guns nearly thirty years, don’t own a cell phone, much less a smart phone (had a analogue phone about the size of toaster way back when). So the self-righteous part of me tends to think well if I can do it why can’t everyone else or at least cut back. I guess what you describe should not be surprising nor shocking, to be truthful its not really.

    I just returned from a few days in the ‘NORTH’. I remember thinking, as I unloaded all my ‘shtufffs’ that as far as I could tell I had returned with everything that I had taken -it made me happy.

    I had to chuckle upon reading your post. Yesterday, Toronto received 100 millimetres of rain in the matter of a couple hours. You just cannot help but laugh when you see the photo at this link. It is nice to see that mother nature still has a sense of humour on occasion. The guy probably tossed his i-phone or i-pod in the woods or murder a tree with a smuggled in Glock. Don’t you feel sorry for his 250,000 dollar Ferrari?

    Sorry for the ramble. I enjoyed the post. I’ve never been to Pike National Forest so I enjoyed the images from the Google Image search which this post spurred me to do.


  3. “Wyatt, naturally filthy” 🙂
    Definitely going to tweet this, may have to reblog, I know you are writing about the US, but litterbugs are everywhere. Take the train to Fort William, past some of the most glorious scenery anywhere, and you’ll know you are nearing the town because there are fridges and goodness knows what in the streams and ditches.
    A 2011 iPod? Mine is much older than that!


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