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My election predictions fizzle … a loose pink ball … a dire prediction for species extinction … repeal Daylight Savings

Election predictors – me included – went 0-for-whatever on election night.

My choices for President and North Carolina Senator didn’t pan out, although Roy Cooper still has a decent shot at N.C. Governor. Let’s hope he makes it.

The surprising national race aside, if President-elect Trump and Republicans continue to disavow climate change, push coal mining, or abet any more backsliding on the environment, I’ll continue to use my admittedly small platform to bash the naysayers and deniers at every opportunity. They will deserve whatever is dished out.

The environment is just too damned important to be treated as business-as-usual collateral. All of us will need to press onward and fight the good fight.

A pink ball needing to be freed

There’s a small stream behind my house. It enters my visual space through a wide culvert roughly 70 yards from my kitchen windows.

The little waterway has been the subject of this blog from time to time given that there’s been visible pollution and just plain messiness. Every so often I’ll don a pair of junk shoes and walk the few yards down the bank to retrieve what I can.


Held captive by the stream banks and a small natural dam of sticks, the pink ball moved up and down the waterway with the wind. But it’s now been returned to the children’s play area.

For the better part of a week, there’s been a pink inflatable ball floating on the shallow waters. It was probably kicked there by kids who play out back, and they must’ve been too reluctant to brave the briar plants and the muddy bank to retrieve their plaything. Breezes have blown the ball about but it’s been in no danger of washing away since we’ve had no rain for more than 30 days (see Nov. 10 news reports about fires in the tinder dry Appalachian Mountains not far from Charlotte).

The ball’s bobbing up and down ended today. It was unceremoniously scooped out of the water and plunked in the middle of the green space where the children play.

Headed our way within five years: huge declines in wildlife populations

Nearly two-thirds of all vertebrate wildlife will be gone within five years if immediate action to protect habitat and the environment isn’t taken.

This according to the Living Planet Report report by the World Wide Fund for Wildlife (WWF).

The WWF said vertebrate populations have already plunged 58 percent since 1970. Organisms in freshwater rivers and streams have faired even worse, with populations declined a staggering 81 percent in the same time period.

The report is prepared based on data drawn from ongoing research on 18,000 wildlife populations.

Picker uppers: keep this troublesome prediction in mind as you walk. Every bit of litter you collect could end up in waterways and thus become a hazard to wildlife.

Daylight Savings Time be damned

Hey, it’s tough enough to spot trash even in the best of light.

But this damned switch to Daylight Savings means I start in the dark and end in the dark on weekday evenings. It’s even worse on the weekend mornings when my stroll begins in the 6:00 a.m. range (or ealier) and doesn’t mercifully conclude until 7:30 a.m. or thereabouts.


I was lucky to bag this much litter on my Saturday walk. Unless junk is lit by streetlamps or the faint rising sun, I’ll miss trash altogether.

In practical terms, it means I’m dependent on streetlights to illuminate most of my trash finds. So no doubt there are objects I that escape my view – and hands – if they’re nestled down in the grass, hidden along the curb or aren’t otherwise highlighted by the relatively narrow radiant circular glow of the lights.

That’s of concern since no bit of plastic or polystyrene is too small for my liking. If it can be seen, it goes in the bag. But that’s the rub; if there’s no light shining on junk, I’ll walk by it altogether.

I can bitch and moan until the cows come home about Daylight Savings, but if I call for a repeal, it will no doubt go the way of my election predictions. How’d that work out?

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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