Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Balloon 7

This has been a record year for finding spent helium balloons littering Blue Jay Barrens. A festive orange balloon found the day after Christmas marked number seven for the year, two above the previous record. The fresh condition of the string indicates that it hasn’t been exposed to the elements for too long a time.

A dozen feet to the side it could have fallen into an early trash repository. This looks like it was a one load dump. The idea that it is not only proper, but beneficial to deposit trash in gullies, is one that is still alive and well in today’s society. The presence of the old gas tank makes me wonder what contaminants may have found their way to this site.

The old tub was probably still sound enough to hold some of the smaller objects going to the dump. I wonder what conditions initiated collection and removal of junk from around the homestead. Did these items form a growing pile outside the barn until a certain dumpable volume was reached? I think it more likely that everything was scattered about and only moved when it became an obstacle or nuisance.

There are several small dumps with one roll each of old poultry fencing. I was told that the fence came from a time a couple of generations ago when the family was big into raising chickens and pheasants. When poultry raising activities were abandoned, the birds were all turned lose. Since the fence was supposedly all made obsolete at the same time, it’s odd that the discarded wire was dumped in so many different places. Maybe there was a recipe for dump loads that called for no more than one roll of wire per pile.

When I saw a flash of blue from a distance, I thought I had found balloon number eight. It was actually a plastic grocery sack tied to a tree. Unless the wind has been doing some crazy things, this knot is hand tied. I presume it to be a marker intended to help a deer hunter find his way through the woods. If I had found him, I would have pointed out that he was a litterbug, a trespasser and a poacher. It’s funny when these guys argue that they’re not poachers. I always recommend they read the hunting regulations and note that a poacher is someone hunting on private property without written permission of the owner. Claiming that “The Guy” said it was OK isn’t quite good enough.


  1. Oy, how I hate seeing all this trash. We always find lots of junk floating along the creek across the road from us. The amount of junk has lessened, my husband noted, since he and a neighbor did a good trash haul of the area a few years ago, but it still comes in once in a while. He recently pulled out a gas tank similar to the one you show here and will turn it into yard art somehow. We already have a gas tank xylophone in our backyard. He has visions of turning this next one into a stringed instrument of some sort!

  2. ...Heather really does have a gas tank xylophone in her yard--I played it when I visited this summer, and it's really cool! The blue plastic bag scares me. What if you were walking on your property and the hunter poached you instead of a deer by mistake! I'm always wary in the woods when I hear gunshots...

  3. I heard there was an old gas tank around here somewhere...

    I was going to offer to drive down and retrieve it but it appears to be too far gone to serve as a good resonating chamber for any variety of outdoor musical instrument.

  4. Heather - I'm afraid if I tried to turn this gas tank into art people would say, "It just looks like junk to me." My artistic talent is yet to be discovered.

    Kelly - I try hard to see the people with guns before they see me. My Brother-in-Law was with me years ago when I confronted four guys who had just hopped the fence back onto my neighbor's property. They claimed they had never been on my side of the fence. As we were walking away, my Brother-in-Law said, "You're crazy. You don't walk up to four armed men and call them liars." I saw them, they saw me and I think, once you're caught, you should at least admit to it.

    David - All the good tanks were snatched up years ago. You might be able to crumble this one and put the pieces into a maraca.