Saturday, January 31, 2009

America, The Beautiful

Work has me driving around every Zip Code in Miami-Dade County, from Sweetwater all the way north and over the county line into Broward, as far as Sunrise. In the course of an 8 or 9 hour day I see people and neighbourhoods of all descriptions.

My job also requires me to carry a camera, which is always within easy reach. I see a lot of strange stuff on these rounds. [CLICK] If I can snap off a shot, I will. [CLICK]

As I kick start Aunty Em’s Place back to life, let me share some recent pictures:

I carry a nice, comfy fold-up camping chair in the trunk of the car. If I'm doing an all-day, sometimes it's nice to pull over, grab a book and the chair and walk over to a nearby lake, pond, canal, or stream (there are TONS of those in Miami-Dade) and take a small break before I head back onto the road.

Here's a recent pit stop. You can see the lake in the background and beyond that a condo complex. On all 4 sides of this lake is not just civilization, but Civilization with a capital "C". It's a part of Hialeah, which is as dense as Miami-Dade gets and I'd say it was easily an upper-middle class area. If not that, then certainly a lower-upper class area.

This vacant lot off one side of the lake had been mowed, with tire tracks into it. That's why I chose it for a break: easy access with a walk of about 100 meters to the water's edge, just far enough not to hear the traffic on the residential road. If you ignore the debris in the foreground for a moment, you can see the property line for the next lot, also vacant. It had been allowed to grow wild (and had also been fenced), so there was no trashed dumped on this site.

Because the water was that far from the side of the road, my anticipation of a relaxing time out didn't dissipate until I had walked 2/3rds of the way to the water, over a small rise. Then suddenly I looked upon an environmental disaster zone. Cardboard and plastic, with oil leaching from all the crushed plastic containers littered an area about 100 square feet.

[Yeah, I know meters in one place, feet in another. I'm a schizophrenic Canadian when it comes to metric.]

It was too muddy at the water's edge to unfold my chair. All the best land was taken up by this mess. Obviously I wasn't going to be able to read my book, so I decided to take a few pictures, including the close-up at left. America The Beautiful™.

After I had burned off a dozen shots from all angles I used a stick to turn over some of the cardboard to see if there were identifying marks. Nothing that I could find other than some bar codes, but I don't read bar code.

I cannot imagine a more perfidious act than driving onto a vacant lot and purposely dumping this shit all over the ground. There ought to be a law. In fact, there is. Miami-Dade is littered [pun intended] with NO DUMPING signs. While obvious placement would be in vacant lots (and there were signs posted on this lot), one will see these signs in alleys, main streets, residential streets, and mall parking lots; places that I couldn't imagine anyone pulling up and dumping trash. Despite all of these signs, an eyesore in themselves, the idyllic garden spot these pictures document is not a rarity. I now have pictures of at least 20 sites that have become unofficial dumping grounds, but I thought these three told the best story.

Next stop: Charles Avenue.

With all my love,
Aunty Em


Anisha said...

Seems to be more commercial waste, than waste from a family home.

Dumping fees to high in your area, that they can't take it to the local dump? The official local dump, that is.

....and here I thought your worse worry would be the local crocodiles, hanging out in those ponds!

Mark said...

Liberals own South Florida.
Maybe they can get a stimulis package from Obama to clean it up.

Aunty Em Ericann said...

I don't know what the dumping fees are, Anisha.

We don't have crocs. We have alligators. And, they can lurk in lakes just like that one.

With all my love,
Aunty Em

Anisha said...

Well how can I worry about crocodiles, when I am up to my ass in alligators!

or visa versa

Sorry, I'll have to look up the distinctions. They are both large lizards with equally large teeth.....I prefer Manatees!

MLP said...

Is this where we're going for 'coffee'?