Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Have you seen...

Soybeans and corn--the two crops this rural area produces--flank the sides of the road I walk. Every spring, we wonder which will be planted where, and wait to see what sprouts.
Our summer is measured by the growth of the crops, and winter's approach, by the harvest. There's not a tree to break the January wind that howls down this lane--enough to freeze your cheeks and make your eyes tear.
It's not yet time to see the changes spring will bring here--little green onions and the killdeer.
But, every day, I look, hoping.

The frost on the cobs,

and the husks

are its fruits of this season.

"Have you seen...." is an effort to discover the unusual beauty in things not usually appreciated for their beauty.

I’ve never understood the lack of respect for land.
Why it would be considered an act of rudeness to empty a car’s ashtray in someone’s yard, yet the pavement of intersections is deep with cigarette butts.
Why the muddy pond bottoms bear more aluminum cans, than rocks.
Or, why the road’s edge in front of my home is free from trash, while this field down the lane is scattered with beer bottles and the ditch full of discarded tires.

Is it because if no one catches us, it’s ok? Or, are there different rules for our behavior toward someone’s personal property versus “vacant” land?

Because every acre is someone’s property, even public lands.
And, as humans, the impact we leave upon this earth far outweighs our stature in it.

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Ruth said...

You write so well. I too cannot fathom what causes people to litter. There are many convenient trash cans around. Today I spotted a used coffee cup in the dairy case at the grocery store. Disgusting!

Crayons said...

What a thoughtful post -- and beautiful photos. I heard a definition of ethical behavior: doing the right thing, even when no one is watching.

This culture lost so much when it killed -- or tried to kill all of the tribes of Native Americans. Reverence for the land was one of them.

Thanks for keeping me on my toes.

Jennifer said...

I love the frosty corncob photos. I drive past similar scenes on my way to work every day.

nina said...

Ruth--Yes, I've seen the same thing, as if the person was suddenly transported out out this world, leaving the cup behind!

Crayons--I can still remember the commercial from years ago : the Native American with a tear fallen on his cheek--how sad thoughtless actions are.

Jennifer--That corncob is what actually drew me in--it provided such an intricate structure for the crystals.

Diane said...

what a perfectly thoughtful post. If only the people who don't respect the land could read this. This has given me food for thought ... I don't think I'll be silent if I see someone litter.

Sand to Glass
Dogs Naturally

cestoady said...

Yes indeed, a most thoughtful post. And CONGRATULATIONS !!! on the Bloggy Award -- well deserved.

Littering and lack of respect for the land is related to what Garret Hardin identified as "THE TRAGEDY OF THE COMMONS" in which ,as a source says..".. any commonly held resource inevitably is degraded or destroyed because the narrow self-interests of individuals tend to outweigh public interests " OR, to put it another way --- if I do not use it (to dump my trash in this case ), someone else will. Ignorance is not bliss.

Diane has it right in speaking up -- otherwise , who speaks for the land ??
January 10, 2008 4:14 PM

nina said...

Diane--Often, when I'm out with my camera, I get the impulse, "Wow, I wish I could show this to someone," and snap the shot. I think nature photographers bring beauty to those who would not think to find it there.
But, of course, words are more direct.
I'd never have the nerve to confront anyone on this remote stretch--could be dangerous.

Cestoady--a tragedy for sure!

RuthieJ said...

Hi Nina,
I'm glad to see your farmers didn't plow those field immediately after harvest (like they do around here). At least the wildlife can find some of the grains that were spilled on the ground during harvest.

I've done "adopt a highway" cleanup many times in my life. I believe if everyone ever caught littering had to do this for a couple miles, they would think again about throwing their trash out of the car window. It was shocking the variety and amounts of trash we picked up!