Varmint of the Month: Litterbugs

Posted 7/1/2020

Protecting our Wildlife 

On our many nature excursions, the Picayune Strand is a place we frequently visit. Not only is it pretty much in our back yard, it is also an amazing place to see wildlife. I always enjoy seeing the miles of woods and beautiful canals. We go so often in search of the perfect photo of the Florida Panther or Bald Eagle... I am still waiting on that panther picture... but along the way we have captured some amazing wildlife. 

We took a drive one day and stopped at one of the many canals throughout the Strand. As Catcher Dan was fishing, I was snapping some shots of Mother Nature. There were many birds that day, all different species. A mixture of Mockingbirds, Catbirds, Curlew and Herons. I was having a difficult time capturing the perfect shot because of how much 'junk' was floating in the water and on the bank. Instead of trying to crop these items out of the picture, I focused on it. Sometimes, the pesky varmints are not always animals. Which is why the Litterbug is our choice for Varmint of the Month. 

We don't always stop to think that leaving behind an old soda can could actually be life or death, but for an animal, it could be. Catcher Dan trapped a raccoon once with a soda can stuck on his front paw. Raccoon's are curious little creatures, and the sweet smell of the soda was this little guys demise. I am sure the person that drank that soda didn't think about it harming a raccoon when they tossed it in the bushes. Birds do not have it much easier when it comes to litterbugs. In one canal, I saw at least 5 different types of birds wading in water full of empty oil jugs, gasoline tanks and even an old rubber boot floating upside down. A layer of gas and oil was floating on the top of the water. It appeared the birds were living with the new decorations of their habitat, but it doesn't seem very fair. They don't have the opportunity to clean up their living-room like us humans do. 

Balloons are everywhere in the Everglades. A lot of people let balloons go to fly to Heaven for their loved ones. Well that just proves that Everglades is Heaven on Earth because that is where all the balloons end up. 

I won't go on any longer about the clean air act, but instead, give some suggestions to think about for outdoor adventures. Bring a little trash bag so all the litter doesn't end up on the ground. Find some litter, pick it up, it could save an animal! Most importantly, take only photos and leave only footprints. 

Don't be a litterbug, help keep the wilderness clean! 

Goldie Locks (2017)

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