Peevish Pen

Ruminations on reading, writing, rural living, retirement, aging—and sometimes cats. And maybe a border collie or other critters.

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Location: Rural Virginia, United States

I'm an elderly retired teacher who writes. Among my books are Ferradiddledumday (Appalachian version of the Rumpelstiltskin story), Stuck (middle grade paranormal novel), Patches on the Same Quilt (novel set in Franklin County, VA), Them That Go (an Appalachian novel), and several Kindle ebooks.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Long Distance Littering

My hayfield isn't heaven. At least not that I know of. However, my husband, while bush-hogging the edge of the recently cut hayfield at Polecat Creek came upon a balloon that a wife had "sent" to her deceased husband in heaven. Obviously the message of love written on it didn't reach the intended recipient. Instead, it became litter that had to be picked up.


Luckily the balloon hadn't gotten caught in the haybine last week where shreds of it—and the 5-foot long ribbon attached to it—would have been baled into hay and likely caused death or misery to whatever critter scarfed it up. It had, however, fallen near the horse trail, and would likely have spooked any horse that came along. (My mare Cupcake was spooked by a mylar balloon dangling from a branch near the creek crossing more than 20 years ago. Luckily I stayed on while she jumped around.)

On the side of the balloon is printed this warning: Caution: This balloon may conduct electricity. Do not release outdoors. Do not use near overhead power lines. Misuse may cause personal injury.

At least the balloon missed the nearby overhead power line.

A website called Balloons Blow shows the problems of balloon releases. According to the website:

All released balloons, including those falsely marketed as “biodegradable latex,” return to Earth as ugly litter.  They kill countless animals & cause dangerous power outages. Balloons are also a waste of Helium, a finite resource. Balloons can travel thousands of miles & pollute the most remote & pristine places.


Instead of long-distance littering, how about honoring the deceased by planting flowers or trees? Or making a donation to a charity? Or picking up litter and making a little bit of the world a better place? Or doing something nice for someone? More alternatives are here. And here.
~

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2 Comments:

Blogger CountryDew said...

Excellent rant. We sometimes find balloons in the hayfield, too. We have on occasion found a weather balloon as well.

12:38 PM  
Blogger Carol said...

Good points. Nothing is sadder than debris in nature.

12:39 PM  

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