You guys are awesome. Really, the response to yesterday's post about the wolves was fantastic. Thanks again to Allie for her original post. I'm glad I could snag some of my own readers who don't make it over to her blog. The Department of the Interior is required by law to account for all public comments before making their decision and your simple act could very well make the difference.
A special thanks is also in order for "Anonymous," who left a thoughtful comment opposing my own viewpoint. This person is rightfully concerned about the health of the ungulate populations in wolf country, but I'd like to remind Anonymous that wolves had been a part of a balanced ecosystem long before we came along to muck things up. The prey need their predators as much as the predators need their prey. I'll admit I don't know all there is to know about this, or any, issue, and that's why it's always nice for a commenter to leave a name or some way of continuing the dialog. I welcome contrary views and it would be nice to be able to follow them up. I may just learn something that way.
Unless, of course, Anonymous has one of those bumper stickers I mentioned (it turns out it's actually "Save 100 elk, Kill a wolf"), in which case be careful tonight while you're taking potshots from the tailgate of your pickup at all those Milwaukee's Best cans you just emptied. I'd hate for you to shoot yourself in the foot or something. That would make line-dancing with your cousin/wife that much more difficult.
Continuing my heroic efforts to save the planet and every living thing on it that at least resembles somebody's cute little pet (fuck the sea slugs; they're not huggable), I took part in a trash clean-up this morning along Second Creek in downtown Knoxville. I don't know what it is about picking up garbage piece by piece, but it's always a good time. I think it's the treasure hunt feel of the whole thing. Of course you never find treasure, but you never know what sort of junk you'll pick up next. It's exciting. Aside from the incredible volume of plastic and glass bottles (very few aluminum or steel cans; they have value) we found 39 one liter propane canisters (must have been someone's camp), two golf balls(one Titleist, one Wilson), a child-size boogie board with palm trees and the word "Hawaii" printed on it, a broiler pan, a submerged mattress and pillow (that must have been a rough night), a cooling fan for some sort of machinery, a plethora (si, El Guapo, a plethora) of plastic bags tangled in the foliage, and many wardrobes' worth of clothing, including hats, shirts, pants, sweatshirts and (sorry, just one, a left) shoe. You might be interested to know that the elastic waistband of men's underwear survives intact long after the rest of the garment has disappeared. I can't imagine how a person's underpants end up in an urban creek in such large quantities (scores of them, I say), but they do.
Thanks to Big B at the Wigshop and the Fort Loudon Lake Association for putting the clean-up together. I can't think of a better place to find trash than in a stream lined with homeless camps under an interstate highway interchange at the core of a large urban area. And they told us to try to avoid touching the water or splashing any on our faces if we could help it. One guy said he got an eye infection that way. And they gave us hip waders to wear and grabby things to pick stuff up with. It's a recipe for fun, I tell ya.