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The mallard and the plastic…

So, I’m out last night about 5:45 on my daily constitutional.

I cross McMullen Creek where it flows beneath a low spot on Sharon View Road. I look down upon the waters every so often. There’s usually some floating debris but mostly I cringe at the plastic bags or sheeting that cling to branches along the steep banks. There’s no way for me to really reach it. That’s why I don’t look more often.

But last night there was a mallard drake paddling by his lonesome along the bank, and literally, he’s foraging for whatever ducks forage for by

This is the gateway for much of the junk that ends up in McMullen Creek.

This is the gateway for much of the junk that ends up in McMullen Creek.

navigating his way around a large sheet of plastic that is hung up on the bank but is streaming about five or six yards downstream. The Greenhead pokes his head below the sheeting as it goes about its business of feeding.

The larger question is this: why should a mallard (or a teal or any other water bird) have to put up with such invasive materials where it chooses to live? I think my pick-up-your-path practice (already in use in the short length of stream behind my house) is about to extend to larger waterways.

Stay tuned.

About Dave Bradley (264 Articles)
I'm the one behind two totally unrelated blogs; the first on 17 years of writing weekly letters to my kids (plus other recipients), the other on my localized environmental responsibility ( I'm a writer by trade and both endeavors are accepted practice for me. As for the letters, my adult children Ellen and Reid may have seen these single pagers as corny at one point, but it's accepted practice for them, too, to find something in their mailbox other than bills and junk mail. Email and texting don't do a lot for me for a lot of different reasons. Snail mail has its place in the communicative world and so as long as they keep selling stamps, I'm buying. As for and the environment, I advocate what citizens can do themselves to take a direct hand in their neighborhood environment. But Pick Up Your Path is also a general environmental blog. It may be largely about litter and trash, but both of those are just one element of the total environmental picture.

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