Posted by: atowhee | September 30, 2019


One look at the disappearing birds that people and our economy are pushing toward extinction.

This morning Kate and I were walking our dog in a large city park here in McMinnville.  It has acres of grassy soccer and softball fields.  A crew of city workers were out spraying herbicides on unwanted weeds.  Toxins that elementary school kids will walk on, perhaps lie on, get on their clothes.  I know what it is like to detest invasive weeds, be they thistles or dandelions.  But they can be dug out of the ground if only our culture would still allow low-tech labor.  Why not stop using poison and hire some folks to dig out the weeds?  Might be cheaper, certainly less poisonous.  Or even get volunteer groups to help dig weeds?

In most bitter irony Violet-green Swallows and Vaux’s Swifts were plying the air over the sprayers.  These insectivores were there harvesting insects scared up from grass by the mowing machines.  Just as all of us now contain uncounted numbers of plastic bits in our bodies and ingested daily, so the insects there must contain some of the herbicides plus various chemicals spewed out by the inefficient internal combustion engines of the mowers.  From the insects to the birds, from the birds toward oblivion.

Our current “civilization” is so addicted to quick fix, high tech, no sweat living that we daily pour more poison and plastic and micro-fibers into an already ailing planet.  It would be unthinkable to actually bend over and dig out the dandelion root?

Time for somebody to write the ultimate country tune, “Hope is Just a Four-letter Word.”

Joe Dancer Park, Yamhill, Oregon, US
Sep 30, 2019
5 species–none of these birds can survive in a toxic environment, the red-tail eats ground-dwelling rodents, the others eat insects, robins also eat earthworms and fruit that may contain spray residue

Vaux’s Swift  5
Red-tailed Hawk  1
American Kestrel  1
Violet-green Swallow  50
American Robin  X



  2. Well said. We are just ruining our environment.

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