Monday, April 15, 2013

Picking Up

Picking up along the path
High Sierra and Burley Travoy
I went for a ride intending to think about advocacy. Instead, I picked-up.

One of my usual exits from where I live includes a short transit along a wooded path. Where it used to be little used and almost pristine, it's become a commonly traveled route showing users' disregard. There'd always been some of the out-of-place clutter typical to wooded places on the edge of civilization: a tire half buried and entwined by years of undergrowth; a broken concrete block; and a length of radiator hose emerging in a snake-like loop then disappearing beneath a log. The old clutter disappeared under and behind heavy spring growth reappearing, a bit less obvious, the following winter. Heavier usage has changed the path.

On a whim, stimulated by a promise to myself to "come by sometime and pick this stuff up" I

Formerly Little Used Path
Short Transit
went by and picked up some stuff. Yesterday's heavy rain had exposed more broken glass than I had noticed along the sandy trail and I wondered how many flats I'd started here. Beverage containers were the most common item: beer bottles; soda cans; and styrofoam cups. Someone had shredded an application for health insurance then dropped it like a path of oversize bread crumbs, perhaps intending to follow the path back home. Snack bags were well represented, too.

Dioscorea bulbifera
Air Potatoes Invade Florida
I was surprised to find Air Potatoes (Dioscorea bulbifera) , but should not have been as they are a well establish, invasive plant in Florida. I'd never paid attention to the plant's vines and made the connection with what they are. They're eaten in some places (Africa and Asia) and reviled here. So, I gathered any of the tubers laying close to the path, adding them to my trash collection. I wondered whether Euell Gibbons might have included Air Potatoes in his first book, Stalking the Wild Asparagus, if there'd been any around his home in Pennsylvania.

Burley Travoy as trash truck
The Multipurpose Burley Travoy
The result of my search for something to advocate became a public service I guess. Well, not actually. For a few days when I ride the path I'll enjoy it a little more, so it was a self serving thing I did.

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