#23 – Pollutants Polluting Polluted Politics

Huntington Beach Surfer, Stormy, Dirty Water
All surfer are chasing bigger and better waves. The chase for the perfect wave has been a theme of surf films since Bruce Brown first brought surfing to the masses in his film titles ” The Endless Summer”, a title that appealed to young and old alike.

The problem is that if you want big waves you need storms and with storms come rain. Now this wouldn’t and isn’t a problem in the few uninhabited places we have around the world. Around larger cities on the other hand, the rain, often after a lack thereof, slowly dilutes the chemicals that have been caked on the pavement and flushes out storm drains that haven’t been cleaned out since last winter’s rain. The result is a soup of bacteria and chemicals; after passing through a couple of standard-avoiding filtering stations, the nasty slush flows straight into the ocean. Shortly after the first heavy rain, warning signs begin popping up on local beaches as the bacteria levels shoot past safety limits. A good example of this is the recent studies on Catalina Island where a lack of cleaning facilities and trash disposal options taint the clear waters that many spend time in for snorkeling, diving and fishing. As a surfer who used to live in Huntington Beach i was used to the fact that i  couldn’t surf after a heavy rain, but sometimes, i just couldn’t pass up the opportunity for some great waves. Like clockwork that same afternoon my nose would begin to get stuffy and i would usually be out for a day or two after. The waves may have been worth the short delay of life but not everyone is willing to sacrifice a couple days of being sick for a swim.

We need to do something about this, starting with how we behave ourselves at home and in public. Just the basics. Green habits like recycling, using non-chemical cleaners and just plain old picking up behind yourself should be programmed into our minds as automatic responses to those type situations we encounter day in, and day out. Watering your lawn every day to keep it that perfect shade of green you want rather than even thinking about converting part of your garden to include drought resistant landscaping, should be discouraged more firmly by creating stricter laws for individuals and especially larger corporations. If we can’t do a few simple things to save the biggest source of oxygen and food that we have, then maybe we don’t deserve to enjoy it for all it has to offer either.

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#20 – Nature’s Homing Rocket – The Hummingbird

I don’t consider myself a bird-watcher by any means, but every summer i enjoy filling the feeder to attract the neighborhood hummingbirds and get a great shots like these. I sit with assistant, our cat, under the feeder waiting for the slick flying machines to come humming towards me, rapidly shooting of frames as it passes by. We often get 5 or 6 of them dog-fighting one another with exhilarating aerial moves trying to get the delicious sugar water hanging from the side of the garage. The G-Forces experienced while making some of their most creative maneuvers would kill any human being. This miracle of evolution has managed to survive due to its speed and agility. However, the cat has figured out a new technique on how to outsmart the tiny Hummingbirds. Jack, the cougar like cat, hides inside of a bush adorned with flowers, waiting for the hummingbird to try and slurp out the nectar from the plant, grabbing the fragile, petite bird from the sky mid gulp. We will once again try out best to keep these two from any further conflicts, often leaving us with just one clue, a beak lying on the back patio and a satisfied cat napping on the sofa.

If you have hummingbirds in your area, try getting a shot or 2. You’ll find out soon it’s not easy getting them to hold still ….

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