Friday, September 13, 2013

Pickin' in the Heart of Evil.

We have a favorite spot for picking chanterelles. We got this nice little haul from areas that would usually be too damp, but this year it's been dry, so we're picking 15 feet to the left or right, beyond the wood sorrels and in the moss.

But like everything else we've loved for years up here, Rayonier is tearing the heart out of it. We were witness to the Heart of Evil as we walked through this usually quiet spot in the woods (well, sort of skinny, stick woods - but Rayonier is panting to put the toxic boiled-down result into your body and lungs).

Because Tim Eyman ripped out the ability of a State to support itself, the State is forced to sell off its timber as fast as possible, in a manner that will cripple it for decades, if not finally make this just another Failed Timber Town area (with the feeling-sorry-for-themselves you always get from resource towns). You can see the desperation in the logging trucks ripping through town. So the trucks were roaring up and down the road by the woods. One driver, stopping to "secure" his load (they're overloading, so don't drive too near them), even stopped to kick the beer cans I'd tossed out into the road, until I could get a bag, back into the woods. He didn't even think of picking them up. To him, the woods are just cash and a garbage dump.
Chanterelles, Hen of the Woods, Oyster Mushrooms. 

I was picking up the usual garbage in the woods. The kind of people who are loggers and hunters throw beer cans and beer bottles around the elk trails. They even shatter window glass where an elk might step. Think about that. 

Dan called me back in from poking around in a thin patch. Usually, I'd have come right out, but this isn't really a bear or mountain lion area. So I said, "Why?" He said, "Just come."

So I did, slowly and carefully. if it WERE a large predator, running and panicking is the dumbest thing you can do. And if I'm in somebody's living room, I don't want to look like I'm wearing a stocking over my head. I don't carry a gun because I usually can't, in most situations, and stupid happens with guns. So I'll rely on my head and moves and mouth, thank you, as I have, so many times before. 

I get to the road, and I see a couple of guys, and one with a deer rifle (I don't know guns, and I don't care to, unless I need to ask my gun geek friends), but Dan says it's what it was. THIS is the thing I need to get out of the woods for? Well, I start to fume. I needed to stop picking because there were testicles with bang-bangs in the area?

Between the garbage and the roaring logging trucks, my hackles really started to go up. I am so goddamn god-vomit tired of men telling me, as a woman, I need to stay out of the woods because I might get shot. Yeah, I mean you, Mr. Forest Ranger who told me that one day. Just try it, boys. The day of the hunting accident is over - you need to be up for manslaughter with reckless endangerment. 

On the one hand, Mom pounded manners into me. I find it extremely hard to be rude to people. So when the hunters said, "Seen any grouse," I just joked, "The last bunch of grouse hunters up here admitted they were just exercising the dogs."

I thought they'd think it was funny. Hey, some of their own had said it, right? But Dan - as a guy able to sus the guy twitches - said they were NOT happy with that. What? I was putting down their hunting prowess or something?

Then, as we were getting into the car, another logging truck stopped. The two hunters immediately got into a conversation with the driver, all excited about the timber sale jobs up in the clearcut. Well, that explained that: loggers. Scared to death of the woods, descended from clerks and European farmers, and out to grab theirs. If they can't be cutting it down, they want to make it bleed.

Then the driver said, "Somebody got a cat up here! 150 pounds!" The guy with the gun joshed, "I"ll bet it's 300 pounds by now!" 

And that's when it hit me. Finally. After ten years up here. D'uh. We're talking facepalm. 

When Dan's dad would clean the garden - with a tractor - the rats would run out, and Dan would run around with a shovel, sharing rat-killing duties with the red-tailed hawk his dad wouldn't let anybody kill. 

The loggers are using clearcuts to drive predators out of their homes, and shooting these starving, disoriented, homeless refugees. 

As we pulled out, I leaned out the door, and said, "So, going to go shoot some more refugee animals?" They waved and looked confused. I hope so.

Even the Masai have stopped killing lions to prove how brave they are, and have become the Guardians of the Lions. But up here - bravery is based on a man named Huelsdonk, who, according to this family, read too many cowboy stories back in Germany. He came out to the Peninsula and lived off government money in the form of bounties (yes, we were really stupid back then), destroying all the predators he could line up in his sights. This crazy Kraut helped drive the wolves to extinction, and called the lions forces for destruction. Evidently, he didn't even own a mirror.

Then I realized who the "cowboy story" writer must have been. A German named Karl May. Who never saw America while writing the stories that, later, would be the model for the Lone Ranger and Tonto. 

Now, can anybody else name another huge fan of Karl May? Who had all his books? And thought the idea of conquest and a place to live for his people, regardless of who stood in the way, was a good idea?

With people like Heulsdonk and Hitler lapping up his nonsense, May may be one of the most destructive writers of all time. 

Since we're talking Germans, one of my best friends, a very enlightened German professor, once told Dan, "In Germany we have the village idiot. In America, you have idiot villages."

(As for shooting cats: go into the local liquor store and see the picture of the kid holding up a dead bobcat. OH, he's so proud of himself. I've seen a grandmother shown a picture of a dead bobcat on a cell phone, and she's cooing over her granddaughter for killing the cat. Why? They're not going to eat it, and we don't need the fur. This must explain the guy in Forks who is trapping and shooting his neighbor's cats, while they whimper in protest and do nothing about it. I think I'm done writing about this area. These people are either monsters or wimps).

Forks might have been accused of having vampires, but what they all have up here is zombies.

(NOTE: One woman who has been reading my blogs says, YES, she KNOWS catch-and release is bad, but she loves to fish so much! I said, I do too, but I don't fish EXCEPT to eat. She said she'd work on it. Look, I boycott beef. Will never buy it; if you swallow the DNA of cows, you want the whole world to be grass. But if I'm at a cookout, I'll have a hamburger. No use being rude. I suggested she gift herself a couple catch-and-release days a year, and she nodded and said she should. At least she means to try. Credit where credit is due.

Re fishing on catch-and-release days, and why sport killers are just stupid: if you fish on a catch-and-release day before a keeper day, and you want to know WHY the place is full of hungry seals on the keeper day, maybe you should deny yourself the nasty pleasure of filling the fishing area up with wounded, bleeding, face-and mouth-ripped fish. I mean, where do you THINK seals get their food? FORKS OUTFITTERS? The border patrol would stop them, along with the Hispanics the Forks mayor is out of his mind scared of.

The other day, I heard some people up here talking, without being able to quite catch their words - and I swear to god, it really DID sound like "hyuk hyuk hyuk." I am so sick to my teeth of the Stupid and Proud of it.)

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