Saturday, August 2, 2008

Just cleanin' things up...

Five people showed up for this morning's nature walk (on a day's notice!) and we had a lovely stroll in the woods despite the 101-degree heat. You already know that everything is cooler in the green cathedral.

Not a whole hell of a lot cooler, true, but leafy shade makes all the difference in the world. And I finally managed to take a few photos of this gorgeous trailside bloomer.

I'm guessing this is a Cutleaf Coneflower, aka Rudbeckia laciniata. But my favorite wildflower guidebook is recovering from a dunk in the toilet, courtesy of toddler angst, so I'm not sure.

Any botanists out there?

Unfortunately, the normal peace and quiet of the Old Forest was being oh-so-rudely broken -- continuously from the time I arrived at 9:45 until I left at 11:45 -- by five representatives of the Memphis Zoo armed with a hefty stack of Stihl chainsaws and a busy little Bobcat.

It looks like the first Saturday of the month is getting to be prime time for the Memphis Zoo Perimeter Patrol and their obnoxious machinery. Back in July, it was just ATVs and weed-whackers.

Now we get chainsaws and heavy equipment.

What delightful treat do you have in store for us next month, Mr. Brady?

One of the Zoo's chainsaw artistes was taking a breather near the fence, so I asked, "What are y'all doing in there?"

"Just cleanin' things up," he said.


Bernhard Meck said...

We are so blessed to have somebody as 'competent' as Mr. Brady order the 'clean up' of nature's DIRTY, DIRTY workshop! We all know the poor guys were INSTRUCTED to go out there with chainsaws. Note the way it works! One chisels away at the edges of the forests that one covets for expansion space. "NOT TOO MUCH all at once!" -

"Just a few trees every day - while we keep the protesters at bay!"

Without true ecological expertise one decrees actions from the executive office. Judging by zoo management's previous hack-job disasters (i.e. secretively clear-cutting 4,5 acres), we can only hope that not more hidden intentional damage is being caused.

At some point legal action and an injunction may be of the order. In anticipation of Mr.Brady's successor one can only hope that it won't be too late for sanity to return and the forest to get a reprive.

Some of us feel the zoo is going through some hard times because of bad management! Only the removal of Dr. Charles Brady will heal the zoo and give the park another chance!