Posts Tagged ‘Deepwater Horizon’

Our good blogging pal and author extraordinaire, Betsy, over at the “Parenting Is Funny” blog, spotted this big bird on the beach in my last post and asked about the great blue heron.

This majestic and graceful bird frequents the shores of most coastal waterways in the United States and, thanks to tourists and generous fishermen, they come to be quite used to humans, guardedly looking for handouts. I’ve yet to have one eat out of my hand, but they will politely stand nearby so as not to intrude.

I was promised some authentic Pennsylvania bologna earlier this year which fell through, but discovered a nearby hole in the wall peninsula deli carried a reasonable facsimile, beach picnic’s on!

(They also carried my favorite smoked gouda cheese, something dear Daddy got me hooked on in the 60s, a delicacy then)

Perhaps it is their long beak which doubles as a handy fishing tool that makes their stare-down a bit edgy. And if you stare back, they look away quickly, as if their mother had taught them it was impolite to stare and beg.

For such a tall and seemingly imposing bird, they weigh only 5-6 pounds on average because their bones are hollow, just like the pelican….both have great wingspans and navigate gusts of coastal wind better than any pilot.

We are blessed to share our beaches here with such magnificent wildlife, which we try to protect at all costs. The motto tourists often see when visiting, is “Leave only your footprints.” The heron leaves impressive footprints on the sand!

Here, a laughing gull was not laughing as the heron beat him to the treats every time. Too slow, Joe! Check out those big piggies…need a big foot sprawl to support those lanky legs and tall stature. I estimated my friend here was about 3.5-4′ tall.

In 2010, the Deepwater Horizon oil spill set us all back in myriad ways (understatement). We did what we could to protect the wildlife – this heron was pulled from the oil spill, given a bath in Dawn dish detergent (I once dated the chemical engineer responsible for the invention of Dawn) and lived to tell about it. Er, I mean the heron lived to tell about it – he got all washed off and released. So did the chemical engineer 🙂

Courtesy of The Guardian

Thank You, God, for all things great and small – You, Lord God, made them all! Thank You for all the creatures You made to keep our earth in balance, that we may live in harmony with Your great creation.

~In memoriam of Elizabeth, former member of the Audubon Society, on this All Saints Day~

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A couple posts ago I highlighted a lovely Winter Walk on the beach.

It is only fair to come “clean” with the dirty truth of my beach, as it exists, thanks to the unknown and ongoing effects of the Deepwater Horizon tanker explosion. Thirty-four months later. Long after the contracted cleanup dudes have “done their part” to make a good-faith show that they cared about a place they weren’t from.


Granted, I have no shots of pelicans covered in oil. The major gunk is under control, so we are told.

They supposedly scooped up all the tarballs that washed up, back in 2011:


But here is how my winter walk wound up, for real:

Nice, clear tidepool. But can you spot the the tarball, now in 2013?


No cleanup crews around, and we noticed in the parking lot that the hazmat bin that was there since the explosion was notably absent this time.

More parking spaces.

But no place to deposit the new tarballs.

Pardon my unpainted piggies. I give them a rest Nov-Jan. But BP gave them a new coat.

Shall we call it “Radioactive Red?” or perhaps “Precancerous Pink?” “Petroleum Piggies?”

Or….“Glamorous Gunk?”


Feet are fairly gross to begin with. And, as the commentaries followed the last post about jelly fish, two peas in a pod here:



What I notice, however, is how the petroleum clung to my feet and the jellyfish appeared immune to the effects. My body was prone to the Klingon effect, the jelly fish was by default unable to absorb the intruding chemicals.

I am perplexed how many of the local research entities are split between the effects of the oil spill: some of the most nature-friendly groups have sided with BP, and some of the most “nah, no-big-deal” groups have unearthed some disastrous effects. Some are out-of-state, some are local, some are international. It’s mind-boggling to sort out who has what financial hooks in which group. I got tired of trying to keep track.

It is what it is….

Nevertheless, a fractured scallop shell makes for the most efficient means of scraping errant petroleum off one’s sole:


Am I gonna die?

When will my beach get right?

Is there any place free of the threat of peril?

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