Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Critters and Plots, Parts 5 & 6

Story 5
Reading over information concerning hazards to humans coming in contact with all three of the synthetic poisons in the chemical cocktail that much of Ogle and Lee counties got essentially blanketed with, one certainly gets a sense of just how lethal this shit is.

There are lots of First-Aid procedures recommended, from just washing up to emergency help from first responders. Contaminated clothing is best discarded.

So besides being deadly to almost all invertebrates (I talked to an entomologist recently who's extremely upset 'cause of butterfly population declines here locally), we can assume that it’s deadly to mammals too, us bein’ them. Shrews, voles, mice, chipmunks, ground squirrels, weasels, mink, rabbits, groundhogs, foxes, coyotes, raccoons, deer, these are local mammals too. What are their first-aid remedies when they come into contact with this deadly stuff? 

What?! They shouldn't be out on private property anyway! But, in ever decreasing numbers, they are out there. Has there been any research on how the mammal contingent of the environment are faring? No, of course not. Any ill effect can just get checked off as collateral damage. 

Invertebrates, mammals, what’s it doing to the avian population? For sure, nobody knows....

But we do know that along with invertebrate population, segments of the avian population are in serious decline, according to the Audubon Society and the Department of Natural Resources, if one can believe in sources like these. 

Pheasants, quail, and grey partridge, all of them ground dwelling birds, are in marked decline throughout areas where they formerly were quite numerous. I'm old enough to have once seen how these birds thrived, and sadly have watched their almost disappearance. And this even though, with C.P.R. ground, there's ample habitat. 

And muskrats! A long time ago, I made my living buying and selling fur skins. At one point, I was handling as many as half a million muskrat skins a year, many of them out of central Illinois; flat country covered in corn and beans and laced by mile upon mile of wide drainage ditches. I could buy over a thousand from various individual trappers (“Just trying to get back some of my corn,” they'd say), most of 'em farmers. The corn and beans are still there. And there have been plenty of wet years where those same drainage ditches have held plenty of water, but the muskrats have been drastically reduced in numbers, and not by over-trapping. 

Just the other day, in conversation with a now-retired but long-time biologist of the DNR, I asked the question: “If ya had ta find a common thread, a blanket you'd feel comfortable throwing over these population declines, what would you lay it to?” 

 “Chemicals,” he didn't hesitate even a moment comin' out with that answer.

Story 6
Another evening in the firewood-ring with blazin' fire, the gathering of “Church of the Earth Firsters,” keeping warm there around it. Wind chill outside that fire ring was real cold, inside there round those flames, except fer ever-changin' direction of hard wood smoke, it was real comfy.

Mission statement, our refining, clarifying it. Kendra, the sorta strange lady who's kinda fascinated by dead animals, she's the one who thinks we need this. Kendra's also the sorta girl-friday who's charged with getting' this group's “face book” organized, up and runnin'. Almost indispensable she's become at this point. The small crowd assembled there knows that they'd better consider what she says, pay attention ta what she wants. Let’s listen in...

“I thought we already did this?”

“Well, brother David, I think the message needs to be
better defined, perhaps even broadened.”

“Ok, I guess what our first aim is to, like, assist greater public awareness as to what’s goin' on with the greater ecosystem that they are dependent upon, whats's all around”

“And then we've got to figure out ways to try and stop these crazies from continuing their rain of death and destruction,” Dina chimes in.

“I say we arm the public with assault rifles with big extended magazines and tracer bullets. Open season on ‘em. Make it like a three daily bag-limit,” states the reactionary and inflammatory Manure Man.

“Typical, M&M, I say you go back to the drawing board.”

“Geeze, Vig, er, ah, excuse me Broth, you ain't near as ­­willin' to go fer my suggestions like ya usta be.”

“Maybe I'm older, wiser.”

“Older, fer sure. The way yer hobblin' around here ya look like ya been run through the mill.”

“So ta speak, I guess I have been.”

“Back to this mission statement, ladies and gentlemen, if I can be permitted this lose verbiage.”

“Ok, Kendra, Ok.”

Well...after we start to educate enough people, like voters. We have to find some way to make a ballot-box issue outta our campaign. It’s not a new idea. This very issue has been proposed in other areas. I don't know if it’s been adopted anywhere yet. And the agro chemical companies, like Monsanto, are spendin' lots of bucks tryin' ta block these efforts.

“In fact, the chemical companies, which many see as monolithic, unbeatable, have been losing some battles and its costin' ‘em what you and me would consider big bucks. Kendra, I'll give you some of the cases I've discovered. You can put 'em in the evidence part of our blog site.”

Reverend Marques cuts in here, him excited about the growth rate of our Grove Creek chapter of the COTEFers since we initiated this sorta fire ring whacko assemblage. “We've more than doubled,” he carries on. “If we double again in the next couple of months and then double that again and again. Well, as you can see we could go exponential.”

“Yeah, I'm worried right now about the size of the fire-ring. We're gonna have ta make it so everyone brings their own beverages, too. Between that and the herbs do you know how much we're goin' through now? Well, I do. And this drain on my meager resources has gotta stop."

“Kendra, you seem less than completely satisfied with my mission statement efforts. Com’on you guys, pitch in, remember this is a group effort”.

To be continued….

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