Saturday, March 22, 2014


The marsh is full of life and it is full of death.  That is the nature of such a rich environment.  The future builds itself on the past.  The recent dead Canada goose is sad to see, its body at an angle on the shore, its head down.  When I get close enough to examine it I find that it is a lost hunting decoy and not at all a goose.  It hitches a ride home in the stern of the canoe - Quinnipiac Specimen #1. 

I return to the Quinnipiac out of a need to go canoeing on a windy day that limits my choices to protected smaller waterways.  The low tide has passed just an hour or so ago and so, the banks are more exposed than they have been on my other trips.  This gives me the chance to search for more of man's past deeds and misdeeds.  When I paddle over to examine a stone wall, I find that it is built on top of a crushed car...the wall dates from the 1950's or later by the look of the metal work.  I collect a part as Specimen #2, but I soon find out that the part and the crushed car might not be directly connected.  Camouflaged as vines, loose coils of electrical wire protrude from the silty mud.  Nearby, remains of radiator hoses, steering wheels (Specimen #3) and decomposing rust lay at the surface and extend upward into the edge of the trees. 

I always thought that this section of the Quinnipiac was suspicous.  If you asked me to put my finger on a map where I thought a Super Fund site might be, this would be it...just by the appearance.  Of course, Super Fund sites are more about the invisible - the chemicals that were dumped, but this is the appearance that my imagination expects.  It must have been a large automobile junk yard for quite some time.  Even forty years ago, you had to be an asshole to do this.

I imagine Mother Nature saying to her friends, "If you don't like the environment, just wait a hundred years."  At this point, she has probably got something more caustic to say.

The trip is short with my concern for a return trip into the wind.  Fortunately, the current is running fairly strong and when I dip my paddle into the water it pulls me with unexpected speed into that strong headwind. 

It still amazes me at how Mother Nature can dress up a dump.

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