I consider myself a pretty environmentally focused guy. I don’t eat meat, I recycle religiously, I pick up garbage in my neighborhood. My only environmental sin, IMHO, is my car, but it’s a guilty pleasure. I drive a Jeep, but now only on the weekends, and even then, it’s usually only to church or the beach since everything else in the area is accessible via mass transit.
So imagine my surprise this morning when, while visiting Rock Creek Park, nature attacked. Rather, I should say, nature attacked my dog. More specifically, it was the squirrels.
Granted, my dog and squirrels have a love/hate relationship: they hate her, and she loves terrorizing them. She’s a dog; it’s what she does.
So we go to the park and we’re crossing a wooden bridge into a dense part of the woods with a horse trail. Nature is alive all around us – the woodland creatures are scurrying, the birds are chirping, the water is rushing beneath us. But as soon as we cross the bridge, everything goes quiet. I mean, we both noticed it. Gaia looked at me, I looked at her, and we both wondered what was happening.
Then, from out of nowhere, sticks, twigs and branches started falling all around. We both looked up, and there they were: killer, mutant squirrels. OK, I’m embellishing, but when being pelted by what were practically tree limbs, I was projecting a little negative energy on the little rodents.
Gaia and I dove for cover (again, a little flourish here – we moved out of the way) as I wondered, what could make nature turn on us? Surely, these squirrels have never encountered my dog and her ravenous love for chasing them? But then I looked around and noticed that there were teeth marks on the bases of all the trees (Here’s a Genuine True Admission: my dog, in her frustration at her inability to actually catch the squirrels – or is it that I won’t let her? – she bites the base of any tree where she sees one. I mean she bites it – she removes bark with her jaws). Perhaps another Gaia had already been here and tortured these squirrels? Someone had bitten those trees, that’s for sure.
But as I recline in the safety of my home office, the creek-smelling dog standing behind me, I think the squirrel madness must be caused by something else: Creek Pollution. Whatever toxic combination of trash, chemicals, sewage (?), runoff and otherwise generally nasty crap that makes Rock Creek smell so putrid must be what’s causing the squirrels to go so insane that they would organize an attack against us. And now, as with any trip to the creek, we must wash, shower, clean, scrub and sterilize ourselves AND her leash, harness, toys, etc. (in other words, the dog is getting a shower with me, and everything else, including my specially designated “Creek Shoes,” will get washed with a mild bleach solution).
Ahhhh, nature in D.C.