Superior Views, End of October 2012

A confetti of colored leaves covers the ground, and a few brilliant gold leaves cling to their trees, but they are falling. Daily a vole works her way around these fallen colorful leaves.

Pileated and downy woodpeckers, are busy finding bugs, and the chickadees, gold and purple finch create an active bird feeder. Palm warblers and Juncos migrate through, and the eagle watches all the activity from his high perch on Lake Superior.

Some plants are showing their last blossoms: red stemmed asters, golden rod, daisy

October Goldenrod on Lake Superior

fleabane, hyssop, and a full Rudbeckia, but the best fall plant is the hardy little blue stem.

Fog rolls in from the lake, and fog horns from ore boats fill the air.

The energetic white-tailed deer are oblivious to what the next weeks will bring as the hunt begins.

And I dream of which pollinating plants I should add next year.

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Should the Soft Drink Industry Help Communities Recycle?

Should Coca-Cola and the soft drink industry help communities implement education and recycling? I think Coca-Cola should be working on recycling plastic.
Communities without resources are stuck with mounds of plastic trash.
In the 1960s the soft drink industry began the switch from refillable bottles to plastic. There was never a plan for how to deal with the waste created, and it was left up to tax payers and local communities to deal all this new trash. Communities without resources are now buried with of trash which is harmful to wildlife and our waterways.
I have just returned from 3 weeks of taking public transportation through the countries of Serbia, Bosnia, Croatia and Montenegro. I love scenery and culture, but I also watch trash. Along with the trash being generated, I watch for efforts to recycle plastic and live in a sustainable way. Many streets in these countries are lined with coffee cafes, but never are there take away cups, and paper products everywhere are used to a minimum. However, they don’t conserve on plastic bags. Just one apple generates the need for a plastic bag. I must have said “no bag” over a hundred times, and was the only one shopping with my own bag, and they seemed surprised at my refusal of a small bag for my fruit.
Even though every business sweeps up their front space and garbage workers daily pick up garbage they have a serious litter problem. Plastic bags and bottles litter the roads and waterways, and many communities lack the resources to deal with all this plastic. Many of the cities we visited told me they did not recycle.
One wealthier tourist town seems to have figured out how to deal with plastic litter. Split, Croatia located on the Adriatic Sea appears to have found a plastic solution. Split is a cruise ship destination and wealthier than most towns we visited. Everywhere individuals were going through trash and picking up plastic litter. Split must reward individuals for plastic bottles collected. There was still some litter, but it sure wasn’t plastic!!
Should the profits of the soft drink industry fund education and efforts to protect our earth from plastic waste?

Leaves Everywhere

In Minneapolis we are covered with fallen leaves. It is so important that we keep
leaves out of our streets and storm drains to prevent run off that pollutes our lakes and creeks.

Did you know that just five bags of leaves and organic debris from streets and sidewalks can contain one pound of phosphorus? Over time, this can lead to the growth of hundreds of pounds of algae.
Get out and sweep your street and clean those storm drains, and never put leaves or grass clippings into the street.