There are wildflowers and grasses swaying in the wind.
You can see signs of possible erosion or perhaps wild boar have been causing the damage.
Butterflies flutter all around. They are unperturbed by the presence of people. It’s a photographer’s dream.
But there is one not-so-minor detail that ruins the natural beauty of Unit 70: Litter.
Fortunately, my friend Tore and I were armed with the right tools for Litter Patrol.
We worked as a team – I went inside the brush (I’m small and nimble!). I would grab the trash and pile it in one central location for Tore to collect in our trash bag. I acted swiftly and carefully. There are lots of spider webs, ticks (I don’t like to discuss that topic) and most likely snakes (again, I don’t like to discuss that topic) and poison ivy (another topic I don’t discuss). I do take precautions – I am sprayed down with tick repellent and essential oils. Plus I wear boots and a hat. I also periodically throw in a prayer or ten for good measure.
Here’s my first collection of trash. Off-brand cola, Keystone Light, Bud Light, Gatorade, deer scent and bug spray….
You might think this was collected over a large expanse of land. No. It was just inside the entrance of Unit 70. It was the most trash I have ever collected in one area. I was proud of the impact we made.
But wait. There’s more! This was another heap of trash collected near the entrance. I had to negotiate even more spider webs and poison ivy. But at this point I was committed to the task. There’s no turning back. It had to be done.
My friend Tore also posed by the rubbish. You won’t guess the trash he’s holding up. It is elastic to men’s underpants.
This was a fascinating find. A plant growing inside a Styrofoam cup.
Here’s a look at the now cleaned up Unit 70. It took 2+ hours to clean the area.
Here are the two very large and heavy bags of trash we collected. The trash gets dropped off at the dumpster at the work station. (All our tools, including our gloves and trash bin get sprayed with disinfectant.)
It was exhausting but satisfying work.
During the entire drive back to town, we admired a rainbow.
Small joys and great memories.
Date: June 4, 2017
Camera: iPhone. (the threat of rain prevented me from hauling a real camera. Not to mention, I had to stay focused on my primary task)
Notes: I’m not a germaphobe – but I do love my Lysol, Clorox Clean-Up and Purell. Picking up someone else’s litter is the last thing I ever expected to do – or want to do. But I’m glad my friend Tore Bellis and I have volunteered. This isn’t even our community. But we take a great sense of pride in helping to keep the LBJ National Grasslands clean for others to enjoy.