Troutbirder II

Troutbirder II
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Saturday, July 25, 2015

Junkyard Dogs

Less than three blocks away from our rural home on Oak Hill,  was a large junkyard on the edge of town. We had a "nice" view of it from our kitchen window. A very large junkyard dog guarded it jealously. The place was a major eyesore for our community.

Some years back the junkyard dog showed up on my front steps. Foaming at the mouth, it clearly needed to be muzzled. Ooops, I downloaded the wrong picture. . Oh well... Ann "Potty Mouth" Coulter works here just as well. Though, I might add, she  even lost a lot of her audience on "Fix" News  in recent years even with the "wingnut" set. 

It must have been Ladybird Johnson’s Highway Beautification Plan that got the ball rolling on its the elimination of the junkyard eyesore. The land eventually became city property.  More recently,  my GSD and I went for a hike on the site of the former junkyard. It’s now called Willow Creek Park, named in honor of the dozens of willow trees  along the State Highway and adjacent trout stream
As you can see, the former junkyard is now the location of a verdant small prairie and a hiking trail. That trail was eventually  connected to the new bike trail leading out of town to the"City Farm" property." Mid July sees the area covered with native sunflowers and other wildflowers.

On the site is a small spring-fed pond. It was once covered with oil slicks and toxics from rusting car batteries. Now, it is a haven for the frog chorus and migrating waterfowl. Someday, it may be a small fishing pond for kids.
Lets take a look at a few of the native wildflowers growing there. Some Common Sunflowers and Joe Pye Weed are most obvious.
Another native sunflower the tall Cup Plant, whose leaves can collect tiny pockets of rainwater.

Verbain is seen along the adjacent road.
Gray-headed Coneflowers.
Common Sunflowers
and Goldenrod

It took some thirty years to build the bike trail as the city was unwilling to use its eminent domain and condemnation powers. Now, according to a recent Supreme Court ruling, Wal Mart or any major private enterprise with money and influence can do that legally. Corporations are "people" now, apparently.  Willow Creek Park is a small example of the benefits of providing for the common interest over private greed or misuse. Some "junkyard dogs" try to scare us by using words like "socialism." If this is socialism, I'm all for it.


  1. What a difference! I laughed at the picture of the "junkyard dog" with a zipper on her mouth. Hahaha! I began to sneeze when I looked at the picture of the goldenrod. Really! :-)

  2. Wonderful transformation. Shame on SCOTUS for its Citizens United ruling. And shame on she-whose-name-will-never-be-mentioned-again. The zipper is a grand idea.

  3. I think you're onto something!

    That's a lovely story. Which can mean several things, I'd say, but I like the junkyard as metaphor for Capitalism, which got its start in England in the late Middle Ages through the process of Enclosure -- peasants becoming landless as the commons were enclosed, i.e. privatized and fenced in, and with no place to gather firewood, grab a little meat, catch a fish or graze their livestock, were forced into the cities to become cheap labor for the new industries.

    As those of us raised on fantasmagoric, highly inaccurate Cold War US propaganda versions of life in places like the USSR and Cuba die off and are replaced by people not so burdened, the idea of the commons is re-emerging, actually. Wikipedia is one example; knowledge held in common, for the common good, instead of owned privately by corporations like Encyclopedia Britannica and World Book and sold for profit, available only to those who can afford it. That we here in America have resisted the right wing free market extremism and still pool our resources and through government do things for the common good is a remnant of earlier times, and of course the founders' awareness of what was going on in France at the time.

    The idea of common ownership for the common good, communism, has of course been around much longer than Capitalism has. The first Christians practiced it as we know from Acts:

    44 All the believers were together and had everything in common. 45 They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need.

    A better way than Capitalism, indeed, that Ann Coulter and Fox News tea bagging evangelical wing nuts will come to understand after a few years in the gulag.

    Thanks for that!

  4. I remember the wrestler of that name.
    Wonderful transformation. It looks like a lovely area now.

  5. Quite a transformation, and a welcome one. I like what it has become.

  6. Your prairie photos are all so great to see. One wonders where all those cars are taken. In Ames, Iowa they removed acres of cars that sat next to a river and were on the edge of town. We don't go there often so it was a shock to see it all gone.

  7. What a pretty place! I hope it stays that way for a good long time:)

  8. A wonderful outcome! It's surprising in how short a time Nature can, with a little help, rebeautify what man desecrates.