So, as I start to get back into the groove of publishing these blog posts, I am faced with the same dilemma as in my earlier forays, namely "What to write about?" It's tough to come up with something that may (or may not, in many cases) be of interest on a daily, or even semi-weekly basis. As anyone who has followed me before knows, I have plenty of online endeavors that I may choose to promote from time to time (website, storefronts, galleries, Amazon shop, and now, even a Pampered Chef website). But seriously, who wants to keep being bombarded with that crap all of the time. In an effort to mix things up a little last year, I started to feature the artwork of artists other than myself in this blog. I have fun with that, and enjoy putting the spotlight on the work of artists that my friends, family and other readers may not be exposed to otherwise. Plus, it may help to introduce that artist to an audience that he or she would not normally reach. That, in turn, lead to a regular feature in my Art from the Inkwell Monthly Newsletter - "Artist of the Month". Links to my various websites, storefronts and galleries are located in the side panel of each blog post, so readers always have easy access to those sites, whether the content of the blog refers to them or not.
So now, with "Rant of the Day", I'll throw in some additional observations that may, or may not, be of interest to anyone reading. And the observations may not always be "rants", but I thought that made for a nice title, so what the heck. Which brings me to today's topic - "The Trashing of America". Each day, as part of my daily routine, I take the dogs (Boots and Cooper) for a nice walk in the woods in the foothills near our house. There is an access road called Packsaddle Road, which winds its way up the mountain for about 8 miles, with any number of off-road paths and trails to follow. The scenery can be quite stunning, with many vistas of the surrounding foothills of the Cascade Mountains. That is, until you take into consideration the amount of refuse left behind by other visitors to these woods. I'll try to pack out some of the beer cans and bottles strewn around once in awhile, but this task is just overwhelming. Lately, I've been seeing enormous piles of corn husks along some of the paths I frequent. Can't figure this one out, unless some folks have started producing moonshine up there. No other evidence of a still is visible though - just piles and piles of corn husks, along with beer cans, bottles and occasional wads of used toilet paper - really disgusting. Why not pack out your trash, instead of treating the mountain like some sort of land-fill? Other areas of road are used as a sort of make-shift rifle range, in spite of all of the "No Shooting" signs posted, so there are spent shell casings all over the place (along with the beer cans, etc.). And of course, let's not forget the poachers. At all times of the year, not just hunting season in the Fall, you are bound to come across various deer and elk carcasses littering the trails and hillsides, again with the seemingly requisite beer cans, etc. I would hazard a guess that these poachers are probably the same idiots who are dumping their corn husks, shell casings, beer cans and used toilet paper wads all around. Just last month, I came across the carcass of a Black Lab wrapped around a tree along the main part of the access road. It seemed that the dog must have been struck by a vehicle and thrown to its final resting spot a few yards off the the road. Happens all of the time I guess, but back there in the woods, it must have been someone's companion, or pet, probably one of the previously mentioned poachers. You would think that some attempt to carry the animal out would have been made. Instead, after about a week, the maggots accomplished their task of reducing the carcass to a pile of bones. I'd hate to think of one of my dogs ending up that way. I even checked in with my Veterinarian down the road to see if anyone had reported a missing dog recently, just in case some sort of closure would be needed. All of this brings to mind the famous commercial of about 40 years ago, wherein piles and piles of roadside trash and refuse, smokestacks spewing their black smoke, and rivers filled with floating debris lead up to a closing shot of a Native American looking out over the mess with tears running down his cheek. I guess we really haven't learned any lessons yet, have we?