Embrace the pure life, part three

Part one here.   Part two here.

Please, please, don’t be a litterbug.
Please, please, don’t be a litterbug.
Please, please, don’t be a litterbug
€˜Cause every litter bit hurts.

In the 60s, a chorus of children’s voices sang this song during television and radio public service messages that were part of a national campaign against littering.     Even after decades of higher education and adult distractions, I remember not only the jingle’s words but also its tune.   I recall in detail, too, Richmond’s Own Snooty, a cartoon vacuum-cleaner creature who appeared on billboards along Virginia’s highways and admonished children and adults not to toss trash out the windows of their cars.

It was a simple message that worked.   There really is a lot less litter along roads, in parks, or sullying the landscape in general than there was when I was a kid. One reason is that, as part of the anti-litter campaign, more trashcans appeared on the land to collect cast-offs that people shed constantly.   Another reason: Signs sprang up beside highways informing would-be litterbugs of steep fines they’d pay for their slovenliness were they caught red-handed. Continue reading “Embrace the pure life, part three”


Embrace the pure life, part one

One morning last summer I came up out of Crossfire carrying two objects I wasn’t carrying when I entered the canyon.   The first was a fully intact turkey tail feather that I plucked from the trail.   As I admired it, I noticed an oily sheen on the dark-brown barbs near the feather’s tip.   I stopped in the shade of an oak tree and raised the feather into a shaft of light filtering through the leaves. When the sunlight struck the feather, chevrons of rainbow colors appeared in the vane, very rich and vibrant in hue €”a bit peacock-esque.   Who would have thought a turkey could produce such a gem?

The feather was a natural object, shed by a canyon resident.   My second found object was in a way the feather’s counterpoint: a container of commercially produced bottled water, over three-quarters full, dropped along a steep part of the illegal ATV trail that has caused such a ruckus in these parts. Continue reading “Embrace the pure life, part one”