Thursday, August 27, 2015

A Seemingly Endless Supply of Broken Glass

Meadow trail with rising gibbous moon
I haven't posted in a while, so I just thought I'd let my followers know that I'm still around.

I really don't enjoy going outside when it's hot and humid, and it's been that way here for the last few weeks.  So, after working in my air conditioned office, I go home after work to my house (where I generally don't have to use the air conditioner because the thick stone walls keep the house tolerable), cook, eat and clean up after dinner, and then watch some television before Kali and I head to bed.  Pretty boring, huh?

However, last Sunday afternoon, Kali and I tackled a job she loves to do: pick up broken glass on a trail in my preserve.  This glass is not from malicious youths who bust beer bottles.  This glass is from the 1920s or earlier.  At that time, my preserve was farmed, and one of the farmers used a ravine as a garbage dump.  Now, the ravine is eroding deeper and deeper, and the broken glass is washing out of the soil onto one of our trails.  The glass drives Kali mad when she sees it.  So, we've been making periodic forays to the ravine and trail to collect the shards.  There are some really big pieces of glass, and most seem to have been parts of milk bottles.  Occasionally, we find pieces of what I describe as blue Delft-ware, but the fragments are always small.  Kali likes to go into the ravine and onto the trail after a rain because the water exposes debris after each storm.

On the way back home after our glass collecting expedition, we were crossing one of the large open meadows on my preserve and the sky was bristling with Common Nighthawks catching insects on the wing.  I love nighthawks, but only get to see them a few days a year during their fall migration.  So, last night after dinner I cajoled Kali to take a walk to see if the nighthawks were there.  They weren't, but the evening was really pleasant with relatively cool temperatures, low humidity, and clear blue skies, so we had a nice long walk. 


packrat said...

The walk and the nighthawks sound great, the glass not so much. Amazing that it's been there from the 1920s. There's a trail near Tortugas Mountain that has an incredible amount of broken glass on it--but this is from people target shooting in the recent past. It's infuriating, but I'm not sure what the BLM can do about it; most of the pieces are pretty tiny, having been shattered to smithereens from flying bullets. Perhaps Homo sapiens have always been crazy slobs.

Have I ever asked you before if you've read The Inheritors, William Golding's novel of the first meeting of Neanderthals and Homo sapiens? Really great book.

Scott said...

Packrat: Lots of the pieces of glass on the trail itself are tiny (like your target practice shards) because the water washing down the ravine can carry the smaller pieces further along. The pieces Kali and I excavate from the ravine itself tend to be large: milk bottle necks, bottle bottoms, and half-bottles. My staff used a backhoe to dig a ditch to divert the water off the trail, so the trail's not getting any more glass, but that just means we're diverting the glass that Kali and I haven't collected into another location.

I have not read "The Inheritors," but I'll add it to my list. Thanks for the recommendation.

robin andrea said...

This post reminds me of a beach I went to years and years ago, Glass Beach in Fort Bragg, CA. It was covered in beautiful pieces of ocean polished glass. I wish the glass pieces on your trail could be converted by nature into pieces of beautiful art. Really nice of you and Kali to pick it up and deal with it.

I'm a big fan of Neanderthals, so I think I'll look for "The Inheritors" too!

Scott said...

Robin Andrea: Kali and I have been to Fort Bragg. We stopped in a really nice craft store and I bought Kali a great necklace--a nice reminder of our trip there. We also stopped at an old restored fort in a state park--and watched them fire a cannon. However, we did not go down to Glass Beach. One of the reasons we want to clean up the glass on my trail is that our glass is not tumbled, frosted and rounded, but sharp and dangerous. We're afraid of people or animals cutting themselves on the glass.

Bob R said...

So now I know what you were up to that day when I heard the clang! clang! of glass being tossed into 5 gallon buckets!