Evidence: Start of Spring

“Start of Spring” is one of 14 climate change indicators. It tracks the start of spring for each year, using model estimations of when enough heat has accumulated to initiate growth (leafing and flowering) in temperature-sensitive plants. Observed changes in the start of spring reflect the overall warming trend in the climate system. (U.S. Global Change Research Program)

Photo ©2017 Jen Payne, from the upcoming book Evidence of Flossing: What We Leave Behind.

Nuisance Species

There was an over-population they said

current world population 7,482,331,668

such overabundance can lead to excessive noise

there is absolutely no place on Earth that is completely free from human sound all of the time

and an increased risk of disease

incidence of common cold: 62 million cases per year

DRC-1339 was the antidote,
causing the congestion of major organs
a slow, 12-72 hour “nonviolent” death

but it sounded violent
thud, thud, thud

and it looked violent
dead birds dropping from trees

a galaxy of feathers
shimmering on the pavement
iridescent in the afternoon sun

It’s OK, said the nice man from the USDA, smiling
It’s not harmful to humans…

Just the star-lings
in flight, celestial
their cosmic communal dance,
the breathtaking murmurations
of a species that
communicates
cooperates
connects

But any dead bird can be picked up and thrown in the trash,
just remember to use disposable gloves or plastic bags.

Annually approximately 500 billion plastic bags are used worldwide.

Plastic constitutes approximately 90 percent of all trash floating on the ocean’s surface, with 46,000 pieces of plastic per square mile.

One million sea birds and 100,000 marine mammals are killed annually from plastic in our oceans.

“We recommend…that improved baits and baiting strategies be developed to reduce [such] nuisance populations.”— Managing Vertebrate Invasive Species, National Wildlife Research Center, 2007


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M1Q-EbX6dso


POEM ©2017, Jen Payne. PHOTO by Tim Felce (Airwolfhound). SOURCES: Worldometers.info; The last place on Earth without human noise, by Rachel Nuwer, BBC; National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases; Center for Disease Control; Journal of Wildlife Management; “Dead birds dropping from a tree in West Springfield causes community unrest,” WGGB/WSHM; Audubon Field Guide; “Starlings,” A Passion for Nature by Jennifer Schlick (https://winterwoman.net/2011/01/29/starlings); Wikipedia; “The Controversy Over Controlled Poisoning Of Starlings ,Here and Now; “22 Facts About Plastic Pollution,” EcoWatch (http://www.ecowatch.com/22-facts-about-plastic-pollution-and-10-things-we-can-do-about-it-1881885971.html); National Wildlife Research Center.