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Blowin’ in the wind …

Thickets are often the final resting spot for plastic bags

Plastics that escape containment are a significant environmental blight. The material won’t degrade, has no place in the natural order and does cause irreparable damage when wildlife mistake bits of plastic as bits of food. (Recent photos of our ocean clogged with floating plastic are evidence enough of non-degradables run amok.)


But further inland is an all-too-frequent and saddening sight to behold.

It’s the sight of plastic bags and sheets of plastic snagged on tree limbs that are literally blowin’ in the wind. I find the visual carnage seriously distressing.

Although my photos lack visual drama, you get the picture – because you’ve witnessed these same scenes over and over and over.

A couple of years ago while motoring through Wyoming on I-80, I couldn’t help but notice – time and again – plastic impaled on strands of barbed wire. You can tell when wind-whipped plastic has been there for awhile; it shreds and oftentimes wraps itself around the wire in stranglehold fashion. In the wind-blown cowboy state it’s a routine sight that repeats itself mile after grisly mile.

Worse still, there’s no one there to collect the plastic, rein it it, recycle it. No driver will stop as a matter of course, put on their vehicle flashers and unfasten their seatbelt to retrieve the man-made escapees. So there the plastic stays until it shreds itself into oblivion, the small torn and tattered pieces forever having escaped containment into the roadside environment.

There’s not a whole lot a walker can do about plastic hanging from tree limbs and fences and bushes except to hope that the plastic shouldn’t be there in the first place. The same goes for drivers, too. It’s enough to make you keep your eyes on the road, all the better to avoid the ghastly eyesores.

About Dave Bradley (264 Articles)
I was a writer by trade so one would think letters would come easily for me. It is so now, but wasn't always that way. Indeed, the first letter was written the Monday after Ellen started her freshman year in college. For years I've wondered - with no good answers - why I swiveled my office chair toward my computer screen to fire up a word processing document for that first letter. I just don't know. I just did. Perhaps it was the angst of separation or wanting to say things that had gone unsaid at that moment when we parted ways in front of her college dormitory. What was a one-off became habitual. When her brother Reid enrolled in the same college, his name was added to the salutation line. They were kids then and are adults now. No matter. The letter writing habit remains so today. I live in Brevard, North Carolina. I'm well away from where they live and don't see them nearly as often as I'd like. That's why letters, at least to me, fill the void of distance. The pages give me something to say and the space to say it. There is no assurance they read the letters; indeed, I have never asked if they do so. With the pace of their busy lives who could blame them for letting a letter sit unopened? Over time, it has dawned on me that the letters are both communicative - and cathartic. By nature, letters are about the writer; the writer can only write about their situation. Perhaps that is as it should be. It's all about the here and now from one person's perspective.

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