I could take a nap. That would guarantee I would toss and turn that night and then sleep too late Sunday morning.
If I stayed home, I would, without doubt, eat everything in sight.
Or, I could go litter-picking. In the rain.
I made up my mind while I was standing in the kitchen, yawning and staring into the open refrigerator: I laced up my hiking boots and headed for Turnagain Pass.
When I first started this far-from-home litter picking thing, my neighbor said he was going to make sure I received some public recognition. He was, at that time, president of the local community club, and could indeed have accomplished. that. I begged off, explaining that recognition might turn it into a feeling of obligation and take the fun out of it.
Now, five years later, I have long since passed through obligation and am deep in the throes of obsession.
|Found this in the dirt. It now lives in a nook in the guardrail. Is this what drivers think of me?|
Why else would I spend six hours in the rain alongside a busy highway, filling nine bags with litter of various kinds?
Why? For this:
|The lovely lupine.|
|Wild violet and dogwood blossoms.|
|I don't know what the heck these are, but perhaps one of the many varieties of buttercups.|
|Wild iris, aka flags. Growing in the gravel right beside the asphalt.|
|I thought I was photographing mossberry buds, but I see other leaves in there that look like they might be something else. Mystery buds.|
|The first Jacob's ladder.|
|Wild geranium, their buds still covered in fuzz.|
|Again, I don't know. But look at the blossom cluster on the left.|
|This is a close-up of the plant above. This is a bee clinging to the underside.|
|I touched it and it moved. Apparently it's sleeping or staying out of the rain.|
|A healthy crop of chocolate lilies.|
|This plant has eight buds on it. Eight!|
|Seven on this one.|
That's why. It's early yet, but in two weeks, this entire alpine pass through the Chugach Mountains will be carpeted with dozen of varieties of wildflowers.
I have reached the rest areas in Turnagain. This is usually where I stop, but last year I headed downhill to saltwater at Ingram Creek, another eight miles farther. I haven't decided whether to do that this year, butu I probably will.
As of yesterday, I've walked and cleaned thirty-four miles through the Chugach National Forest.
Litter bag count: 330