Tuesday, October 25, 2011

No picnic at the beach ...

So, dear friends, have you heard about the millions of tons of debris from the Japanese earthquake and tsunami in March that is out in the Pacific and headed for the West Coast.

A swirling mass of marine litter!  Sounds like it could be up to three years before California starts seeing some of it.  Apparently much of it will be plastic, a continued threat to our marine life.  But according to experts, the amount of tsunami debris still pales in comparison to the litter that is dumped into oceans on a regular basis.

It saddens me to think of the ways we abuse this beautiful planet.


When we were in Florida recently, we evidenced the impact of litter from thoughtless people.


See these beautiful terns.  They are majestic, aren't they?



Look close at this little guy.  He has either swallowed a hook or part of it is caught in his wing.  He kept struggling with the wire that looped from his mouth to his wing.




The Professor and I were the only ones on the beach for sunset and we tried ever so hard to catch him but he kept walking out of our reach or attempted short bursts of flight.  We eventually gave up and left him alone.  He was soon left behind when all the other hundreds of birds flew away as dusk sunk deeper.  Eventually, he was out of our sight.  But not out of our minds.

: : :


(This next series of photos is PG 13 ...
just in case you have a little one sitting beside ya!)

: : :

A few days later, we happened upon this seagull.

When I first saw him, he was intent on picking something up. 


As I drew nearer, I could see what he so proudly was claiming!  A condom!

Oh, my goodness! Do you suppose he is practicing safe sex???



I tried to run him down and collect his prize, but he was having none of it.



As funny as it was to see him with his catch, the sad part is that either he or some other bird is going to consume it, which will eventually lead to their death.

Just so wrong.

And don't even get me started on drilling in the Gulf!!!

Okay, I better sign off now before I begin swearing. All that floating debris out there got me worked up!

: : :

Let's part on something more pleasant ....



Like this view!

Promise to be back tomorrow and be more pleasant.
Until then, dear friends,


~ sharing with ~



66 comments:

ladyfi said...

Such amazing gorgeous shots!

And it's so sad to see how we are abusing this beautiful world we live in.

Sylvia K said...

I do so empathize and agree with you! I was so horrified at the news tonight to see all of that "stuff" from the tsunami floating towards our coast! And then the birds! I see so much of the same things here, so I understand where you are coming from and feel the same way. Can't believe the gull running around with a condom in his mouth!! Oh, the things we do to this wonderful world of ours and then wonder why????? Terrific post and gorgeous captures, Reena! Hope you rest well and have a good week -- in spite of all the crap!!

Sylvia

lisleman said...

I have heard and read a little about this floating mass of junk. I believe humans have always littered and made a mess but before wonderful plastic most of it was biodegradable. We have trouble thinking long term. Just heard about the tsunami mess heading first to Hawaii. That's a problem but I would not blame anyone about that one.

Ginny said...

I totally agree, and these are wonderful examples of just what being careless does to wildlife. It is sad that you came upon so many! Yes, the condom will kill him if he swallows it. Also what is killing birds are the plastic rings that are over the tops of packs of sodas. They get trapped in them and either strangle or are crushed. A lot of people are now blowing bubbles at weddings instead of throwing rice, that is a good thing. The birds would eat the raw rice and it would swell up inside them and kill them.

Ginny said...

I just got caught up on your Monday post, love your cute fat little birds. And I know with you feeding them this winter, they will stay this way!!

Pat Tillett said...

Beautiful photos, but so gosh darn sad. I hate it when our excess and lack of care, costs so many innocent animals their lives...

Misty said...

That first shot is absolutely incredible!

Jill said...

I love your first shot...amazing!

The debris is a very sad situation.

NatureFootstep said...

a great post Reena, that I think you should ad to "World Bird Wednesday" tonight. It is important to show what can happen.

Ruth said...

These things make my heart sick, but that is nothing compared to what our debris does to the wildlife.

Kathryn Dyche Dechairo said...

Gorgoeous pics but all the debris the sealife has to face is so sad and disheartening.

Woody said...

It is sad that people do this and you don't want to confront them less they react 'unfavorably'; a sad commentary on the state of the world.

I had seen a show (PBS?) on a convergence zone in the pacific where ocean currents draw floating trash. It was disgusting - floating garbage as far as the eye could see.

Your images are beautiful, thank you for sharing.

Country Girl said...

Gorgeous photos here, despite the sadness. Love your view too.

Sandra said...

this is all so sad and one of the worst things humans can do is letting balloons go into the air at weddings and celebrations. those balloons are dangerous to our wild life and kill many and cause them to suffer while they die. i have been watching the debris headed for Hawaii. it is beyond sad

Rosemary Aubut said...

Wonderful post Reena and so true. Very sad to see wild life struggle!

Steve Gravano said...

Beautiful photos and you touched on one of my pet peeves; litter. While the tsunami and earthquake in Japan were acts of nature, there is no excuse for condoms, cans and other trash left on the beaches and dumped in the ocean.

TexWisGirl said...

as convenient as it is, plastics are probably going to be the ultimate ruin of our planet. sad what we do to ourselves and to earth.

My Journey With Candida said...

You are so right, it is so sad to see what is happening. Most people JUST DON'T CARE and that is the whole problem.

They have no idea when they throw something out, where it ends up.

Daryl said...

Things like this, thoughtless littering angers me .. its so easy and takes no time to CUT those plastic wrappers that keep 6-packs together before tossing them away; they should be tossed into trash containers but if you are a pig and must toss trash out car windows or onto beaches or parks at least cut it up so birds, fish, animals dont suffer for it. GAH!

Ashley Sisk said...

That first shot is incredible!

Louise said...

I just saw on the news last night that the debris mass is moving faster than originally thought, and will hit the West Coast sooner. It's just so sad, the way we abuse this planet. We seem, sometimes, bent on reducing it to a pile of ugly, infertile rubble, and I'm afraid that time is not very far off.

Sinbad and I on the Loose said...

I just read about all the debris approaching Hawaii but didn't know about the 3 year mark for the California Coast. Well...the only bright spot about that, and it is a very dim bright spot, I will be able to document the event along my Sonoma coastline and share it on my blog 3 years from now. The fishline and tern reminds me of the pelican I untangled from fishline. I received a few bloody pecks in the process but he was free to live on...hopefully a normal life.

Denise at Autumn Sky said...

I just don't even know what to say. It's really just ignorance and the "I can do whatever I want" mentality. Good photos on a very sad subject.

Gail Dixon (Louisiana Belle) said...

This post hurt my heart. But I know we need to have discussions about this from time to time.

The tern with the plastic string protruding from its mouth is so painful to see. And a condom? Used I'm sure. Oy vey!

Can we all get on the same page please and think of our animal friends who can't always fend for or help themselves? How can humans be so intelligent yet so inconsiderate?

Thanks for the reminder, Reena!

Madi and Mom said...

Poor tern...bless his heart..so sad. Seagull and condom are two words I never expected to see in the same sentence. If I live to be 200 I'll never understand littering...I guess their homes are a big litter pile too.
Hugs Madi and Mom

Gillian Olson said...

Great shots, but sad stories about these birds. We need to be careful to dispose of our garbage where the birds can't be harmed by it.

Gary said...

The Japenese rubble is the remains of homes; the garbage floating in the sea is just plastic garbage, and has been there for a longtime.I'm so anti-oil that I continually write about it, not just in the Gulf, but in the Tar Sands also.The problem is they just keep buying politicians, and we don't stop them. Great photos and post. Boom & Gary of the Vermilon River, Canada.

Robin said...

I simply can't comprehend people and why we do what we do! What's the old saying: the more I see of people the more I love my dog!
Regardless of the topic your shots are excellent. The first one is stunning! The combination of the movement with the still is thrilling!

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

OK -- we all need to remember this kind of "stuff" and do what we can to stop it. Your post should be widely distributed, because it might make it easier for some people to think about what they're doing to the environment if it is presented in this kind of humerous way instead of as a lecture.

Jedediah said...

I really hate seeing animals in that sort of situation when I can't do anything. I learned about the Great Pacific Garbage Patch a while ago, it's sad that things have come that far.

Betty Manousos@ Cut and Dry said...

i totally agree.

the debris is a very sad situation:(
my hear aches...

btw your photos are really STUNNING, reena!
great captures and post!

hope your day is going well.

betty

Mark said...

As a guy who works on the water, just don't get me started on trash in our oceans. It's sickening. Those phots you took are heart breaking aren't they. Poor guys.

Evelyn S. said...

So frightening to see....and worrisome to anticipate what's coming. (A condom on the beach? Oh well!) The image with the mass of birds is beautiful, however!

Modesto Viegas said...

Great post!!!

Cheryl said...

GAH! Makes me insane. We live so close to the beaches here. We only have 12 miles of coastline and the waste that washes ashore is outrageous. That and the stuff left behind by ignorant people gets my blood boiling too.

bobbybegood1 said...

So informative. So, so sad. I have to collect my thoughts before I can respond in a semi-dignified manner. Cheers reena!!

Oliag said...

For the life of me I can't understand litterers of any kind...they make life unpleasant for people and unlivable for wildlife...I just don't understand how something so simple can be ignored! It is sad to think that both of these birds will probably die:(

I saw the news on the tsunami trash heading our way...quite scary!

On a lighter note I remember the year one of my daughters dressed up as a LitterBug for Halloween! Now that is scary!

Pat said...

Wonderful editorial post! Photos like yours get the point across better than anything else.

latebloomerbuds said...

These are gorgeous, especially that first shot, but oh so sad how people disrespect Mother Earth. Sigh...Margie

Debbie said...

what a thoughtfull post with gorgeous photo's!!

the ocean situation is a heart break, i see it every time i walk the beaches!!

Andrew said...

Wonderful images Reena and thanks for sharing the condom images it's what birds do...
We have to change how we live... but too many many people just think..me me me!

Springman said...

Gosh Reena, this is one of the greatest comment boards I have read in a long time. Your brilliant readers have summed up many of my first reactions. I hope your condom pictures travel far and wide, so graphic are their message. "Please practice safe sex, it matters more than you know!" That's probably not a anti-littering campaign slogan anyone could have conceived of until now but it sure gets my attention.
Your lead picture is phenomenal, wonderfully layered and complex.
Bravo!

mick said...

Great photos - I especially like the ones of the large flocks of birds. I also feel anger about the amount of litter that is dropped. It is so thoughtless and so damaging to the wildlife.

Amish Stories said...

The beach seems like a boomerang of sorts, whatever we throw out there seems to come back on the beach's. People need to stop treating the ocean like a bathroom, there is life in those waters! Richard from Amish Stories.

Pat Ulrich said...

It's always really sad to see the amount of plastic and trash that washes up on our beaches, no matter how pristine a locale seems. And then when you consider the size of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch...

But anyway, wonderful post about what you saw -- and it's especially fun to see that really large flock of terns!

Linda R. said...

I Totally agree with you.. It is so sad the waste in this world.

But I must say your photos are amazing..

Hugs, Linda

Ann said...

oh that poor bird. Why can't people just put their trash where it belongs.

Michaele said...

I could barely get through this post, there was no way I was going to read all those comments. I just have to say, that I work with our state's environmental department, so I get to have some small part in our water quality. But the first thing (or second) I thought when I saw all those birds on the beach was "what about all that poop?". Just trying to lighten it up a bit.

Pieces of Sunshine said...

So sad to see this and know it happens all the time. We can do our best to not contribute to the problems.

Love your first photo, it's a beauty.

Michael Offutt said...

Lovely birds miss. They are popular too. Your page views are astounding.

CherryPie said...

Your photos are quite pleasant and amazing! Thank you.

But we as a species do need to take greater care of our planet :-/

eileeninmd said...

Hi Renna, I am like you, I get so mad. People just do not care where they throw their thrash. And the poor birds have to suffer. I feel sorry for the bird with what is it a fishin line caught and the one running around with the condom. Great post and I love the photos.

Nancy @ A Rural Journal said...

Humans are imperfect in a once perfect world. That little bird would have been on my mind for some time too. :(

Ms. Becky said...

it breaks my heart. last autumn around this time I was photographing geese as they swam circles around me. once I got home and looked at the photos on my computer I saw that one of them had fishing line tangled around his leg. I'm certain it impeded his flight. my wish is that people would be more careful with their activities. on a brighter note, your photos are exquisite. I've never seen such a huge flock of seagulls gathered in one spot.
a pure pleasure always Reena. happy day to you.

Shane Kent Louis said...

what a beautiful creatures I've ever seen, thanks for sharing this pictures, and the place was very nice and so relaxing too:)


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Catherine said...

It makes me so sad to see what we humans have done to this planet and the devastation we cause nature. Excellent post my friend.
xo Catherine

Hilary said...

That first image is stunning, Reena. The hook and the condom is just so frustrating and angering to see. Every time we go fishing from the shore, we pick up yards of line which someone has thoughtlessly discarded. It's so dangerous for our feathered friends. Thank you for trying to catch them. You've a good heart.

Stewart M said...

Hi there - great post - I've just been doing so work using information about ocean currents and plastic in the sea. The research does not make for happy reading.

It’s the same problem the world over. Even our southern ocean beaches that have nothing south of them but sea and ice pick up plastic litter. The micro-fragments that don’t catch the eye may even be more of a problem than the larger junk! Which is not a happy thought!

At least the big flock of terns would have put a smile on your face!

Cheers - Stewart M - Australia

Kanelstrand said...

Yes. Sad is mildly put. I remember seeing collections of colorful plastic items taken out of dead sea birds. Devastating.

It is hard for people to grasp that we are all together on this planet and whatever we do, we do it to ourselves.

Beth said...

what great photos you have here. just awesome & beautiful!! but sad as well to see the evidence of the bad conditions. thank you for sharing. (:

Tricia @ A Rosy Note said...

Beautiful photos. It just depresses me when I think of what people have done to the planet.

Marilyn said...

We are on the same page about the environment -- and the oil drilling! it pains me to see that bird with the plastic looped through his wing. People must don't think.

Snapper II said...

So sad what we do to what God has given us.

Georgianna said...

Shocking and thought provoking, Reena. Thank you so much for posting. But beautiful photos, too, by the way. The first one is stunning! – g

Barb said...

It is disturbing . . .

Dave said...

a intresting post.... its a pity that such a simple thing of taking rubbish home with you is so hard for some people to comprehend.

Sad for the tern with the discarded hook.

A great response by your readers took me ages to read through

Dave