Posts filed under ‘Recycling’

Subtle Adventure Time

Last week, eleven year old Jacal came over to the house and asked a question he asks pretty regularly.

“Vicky, when are we going again?”

“Going where?” I asked.

There were any number of adventures Jacal could be referring to. Was he talking about jet skiing? Perhaps geocaching? Rollerskating? Maybe he is talking about the time we took the injured opossum to the wildlife rehabilitation center?

Jet Skiing - ZJ Waves with Jacal Maple Park - Jacal and Jamontae with Dogs Skating - Jacal, Vicky

Possible Adventures Jacal was Referring To

“To the place where we took the trash,” Jacal said.

Jacal wasn’t talking about an adventure– he was talking about a chore! He was asking about a recent trip to the recycling center!

You see, our household doesn’t have a recycling bin. Just because we are too lazy to go to town hall get a replacement bin does not mean we are too lazy to recycle! Binless or not, we still diligently set aside the recyclables. When our pile becomes overbearing…or… and this is more likely the case, we are expecting guests, we load everything up in the car and take it down to Fun Junktion.

Such was the case early this month when my mother and sister were visiting. I got our formidable inventory ready to go:

Elizabeth City - Recycling

Just as I was about to depart, Jacal showed up. Right place, right time. He hopped in the car and we were off. En route, we had to pull over and marvel at a house. It’s entire front yard was covered in noisy blackbirds. And yet every other yard on the street was an uninterrupted (and quiet) green.

Together we hurled recyclables into the appropriate dumpsters and felt fulfillment with each clang of aluminum or crack of brown and green glass. Afterwards, we went on a 1.25 mile walk around the nearby pond. At one point, Jacal stopped dead in his tracks and grabbed my arm.

“OH… MY…. GAWD…. Vicky…Do you see what I see?”

I looked to where he was pointing and saw Great Blue Heron in the pond. It stood still and silent and looked regal and prehistoric. It was a new species for Jacal.

Later on our walk, Jacal kicked an ant hill. Two larger insects were standing nearby at the time. Wrong place, wrong time. As the ants rushed around trying to make sense out of the sudden chaos, those two bystanders were anointed instant scapegoats. The ants swarmed and despite their large size, the loiterers were quickly overpowered and devoured. I found it interesting and my companion was absolutely enthralled.

A hoard of discriminating blackbirds, a solitary heron and unforgiving ants. These are humble, ordinary creatures and yet they demonstrate just how much discovery and adventure nature still provides, especially to young eyes. In Jacal’s mind it was worthy of the same inquiry as our other outings. On the caliber of jet skiing even!

By coming out all the way to Fun Junktion, I was reminded exactly why I do recycle.

“So when are we going again?” Jacal repeated his question.

“Uh…” Already there was a small pile of cardboard and plastic gathering in the kitchen. But on the other hand, I had no visitors scheduled.

“When the pile gets big again.” I said.

Knowing Jacal, he’ll do whatever he can to make that pile get bigger, faster. : )

October 28, 2009 at 5:00 am 2 comments

Recycling Food Lion Bags

Of course, Ryan Somma is a busy man. He can’t establish the headgear choices for ALL of Hunter Street, now can he? Last Saturday during our latest Hunter Street water fight, my neighbor Khaliya and her friend, forged their own sense of style.

Hunter Street Water Fight - Girls Waiting
Heads wrapped, the girls wait for the water fight

They wanted to keep their hair dry during the combat and they found an affordable material to do the trick. Take a closer look!

Hunter Street Water Fight - Khaliya
Khaliya wears a Food Lion bag

The girls found a way to reuse those environmentally pesky plastic shopping bags.

Want more ideas? Reader’s Digest has a seven page list of uses for plastic bags.

May 6, 2009 at 8:24 am 6 comments

Recycling Baldcypress Trees

Happy Earth Day!  Today, events will be held around the world to raise awareness about the environment.  There will be discussions about sustainability and recycling will be a hot topic.  A number of communities are holding recycling events.  Abbottford, British Columbia is doing an open house at their recycling facilities and Stuyvesant, Pennsylvania is even conducting something called a “recycling race”.

Nature has been a predecessor and on more than one occassion, the inspiration, of human processes and products.  Velcro was inspired when George de Mestral and his dog kept picking up burrs in the Alps.  Mimicking the bumps on humpback whale fins may prove to increase the efficiency of wind turbines.  And when it comes to recycling, once again nature serves as an excellent role model.

Here in Elizabeth City, North Carolina I get to see nature recycle with almost every outdoor adventure.  In particular, I witness reuse of the beautiful baldcypress trees.  Baldcypress trees can grow in water.  When the tree dies, other species find the remains to be attractive real estate in the swamps and rivers.  I definitely expected to see moss, but I do have to say I was surprised by how commonly shrubs and trees take root in old stumps.  The recycling effort isn’t offlimits to the animal kingdom.  Barnacles and Canadian Geese are involved as well.

In celebration of Earth Day and the power of recycling, here are photos of nature reusing baldcypress trees.

Merchant's Millpond State Park - Lassiter Swamp - Moss on Fallen Tree
Moss Takes Over Fallen Tree, Lassiter Swamp

Camden Causeway Park - New Life Out of Stump (Close)
Small Plants Find a Home, Camden Causeway Park

Merchant's Millpond Canoeing - Nature Takes Over Large Stump
Shrubs on a Safe Platform, Merchant Millpond

Merchant's Millpond Canoeing - Pine in Old Stump (Close)
Pine Tree Thrives, Merchant Millpond

Newbold-White House - Third Tree in Tree Lit Up
Tree Inside a Tree, Newbold-White House

Newbold-White House - Tree Grows on Cypress Stump in River (Close)
Baby Tree, Perquimans River

Camden - Barnacles on Old Cypress Roots 2
Barnacles, Pasquotank River

Merchant's Millpond Canoeing - Goose Eggs
Canadian Goose Nest, Merchant’s Millpond

April 22, 2009 at 12:00 am 1 comment

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