May 16, 2004

Toxic Dump Revisited

Senecio or Ragwort blossoms on the edge of Goose Creek Run, Floyd County, Virginia. Image copyright Fred First.

Yesterday afternoon as the sun was going down behind the western rim of our valley, we walked up the road a half mile to the place where the recent chemical insult took place. Ann and Nate walked ahead while I hung back looking for pictures. Neither of them knew exactly where the drum-full of oil and sludge had been rolled down the ravine into the creek. By the time I reached the point, they were standing exactly at the place: all the vegetation on the bank was dead and a heavy petrochemical stench still filled the air, now two weeks later. With the plants gone we could see where the plastic drum had hit a tree and broken open before rolling to rest in the water.

These ragworts were the only things in bloom near that spot, and not terribly photogenic. But somehow, bringing back some small bit of natural order and beauty seemed to serve as a partial antidote against the disgust of that act of human indifference and depravity.

More about the plant and a larger image, here.

Posted by fred1st at May 16, 2004 06:02 AM | TrackBack
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