Friday, July 17, 2009

Got junk?


Cave Run Lake is, in a word, huge.
A giant watery snake, its 8000 acres wind for miles, past rugged shorelines, above them, nothing but the densely treed hills of Daniel Boone National Forest.
This wild and wandering place, wonderful to lose yourself within—
but it could really happen here.


Each bend unfolds to look
just as the last.


Each stand of willows, each sycamore, each sweetgum,
planted on a ruddy rock bank—
shows no mark to guide the way, for one paddling slowly along.


So, looking backward over my shoulder, as we broke from the edge and traced a course toward the opposite shoreline, I scanned for an object to remember upon our return—
a mark that would be an easy target, a blaze from across the water to guide us back to our camp.


And thought this large, floating refrigerator,
unsightly as it might be,
perfect for the job.
How could anyone miss that??

We paddled on,
and discovered another, and another…and another.
Each refrigerator, each water heater, each soccer ball—
having found its way to this great lake
from someone’s private dumping ground,
now floated at the edge,
bobbing in the wake of passing boats,
arranged beside rubber tire planters.



Because, once dumped,
it never really goes away—
it just goes somewhere else.

In our day on the water, we passed 7 floating refrigerators, 10 floating water heaters and 12 soccer balls.
Tires too numerous to mention bob within piles of bottles and other waste.

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12 comments:

Mike Woodcock said...

Shameful in the beautiful places of the world. Is it really less effort to dump junk in a lake than dump it at a waste site?

Lisa at Greenbow said...

How disapointing to see such stuff in such a gorgeous place. I wonder if a dump is on its shore somplace and the spring floods put those things into the lake.? SAD.

bobbie said...

How very sad that anyone would discard junk in such a beautiful place. Your pictures, by the way, are fantastic.

It would break my heart to see this.

NCmountainwoman said...

How depressing. There are no words to adequately describe these polluters of our lovely lakes and streams.

Wren said...

I get angry at candy wrappers and cigarette butts defiling natural beauty. Refrigerators and tires are undoubtedly the result of carelessness, thoughtlessness, or laziness, and yet, it's hard not to take their presence as a deliberate slap in the face. One that says loudly, "Your love for nature and natural beauty is unimportant in the face of my convenience."

Jim said...

Lakes like Cave Run are such a mixed bag. They're beautiful until you remember the wild streams, rich bottomlands, forests, rare species, unique rocks and cliffs, and historical remains that were annihilated or buried in water and silt. They wanted to do the same to the Red River Gorge, but fortunately that was fought back.

The trash really does suck though. People...

Arija said...

Bad enough having mountains of rubbish without polluting the waterways as well. it is really criminal with all the chemicals andother pollutants involved.

Adrienne in Ohio said...

Ooh, that would make me mad! I can understand the soccer balls finding their way there by accident, but the rest of it? Ugh! What is wrong with people?

KGMom said...

You know, there is just something terribly wrong with a society that has so much to throw away and is tolerant of all that is thrown away.

Rita said...

Littering is one of my pet peeves, and this major littering of our precious waterways is revolting. What are they thinking??!!!
Rita

Naturegirl said...

So so sad to see this. Some I suppose
just don't get it..leave it as nature intended..such a shame that there are those who havn't a clue about keeping
our lakes and rivers litter free .

Deborah Godin said...

Shamefull indeed. Sometimes I think we humans don't deserve this planet, and that the creatures we so rudely share it with would not mourn the loss of us...