Friday, October 24, 2014

Will the glass leaf turn?

I was pleased to see Dennis Anderson, in his column in the Star Tribune today, echo one of the points raised by My Minnesota earlier this week, that consideration be given to whether "glass deaths" are compensatory or additive. I was also really happy to see him putting the issue in the context of young people and sustainability. Years (and years) ago, I was a member of the NRA. At the time, unintentional consumption of lead shot by ducks was found to be contributing to lead poisoning of the resource and the Fish and Wildlife Service mandated the use of nontoxic shot. NRA persistently opposed that requirement and I tired of their obstructionist position and dropped my membership. Haven't considered re-upping since.

If I were the commissioner of a national nonprofit that generated multimillions of dollars for my member organizations and was having trouble maintaining the perception that my organization was environmentally benign and family friendly, I might want to consider having having a chat with some members about showing a greater sense of self-interest than seems to be the case with some members these days. Shouldn't everyone be a team player?

bare trees and tattered leaves
Photo by J. Harrington

Back to the outdoors front, this is a good time of year to get a sense of where the oak trees (most still holding many leaves) and tamarack (gold leaves not yet dropped) are located in our mosaic of woodlands. Many of the other deciduous trees are looking tattered and bare thanks to some recent winds and the way the maples and basswoods have loosened their leaf stems. Daily I watch leaves floating and drifting down to become next year's compost or future years' forest duff. If you look carefully, you can see some of the trees in the photo above are stripped of their leaves and others are looking scruffy.

Sharp Glass

By Minnie Bruce Pratt 

Shattered glass in the street at Maryland and 10th:
smashed sand glittering on a beach of black asphalt.

You can think of it so: or as bits of broken kaleidoscope,
or as crystals spilled from the white throat of a geode.

You can use metaphor to move the glass as far as possible
from the raised hands that threw the bottle

for their own reasons of amusement, or despair, or the desire
to make a cymbal crash in the ears of midnight sleepers.

Or you can use words like your needle, the probe curious
in tough heels, your bare feet having walked in risky places.

You can work to the surface the irritant, pain, the glass
sliver to blink in the light, sharp as a question. 


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