urban jungle

towering vine, Springwater Corridor

So I was walking along the Springwater Corridor over the weekend, admiring the overgrowth, reminded of how the Northwest is temperate rainforest—like Hawaii and Vietnam, only colder. Growing up in the Oregon high desert where the sun shines year long, to me moss, slugs, and rhododendrons still seem exotic. Bikers whizzed past. A few joggers huffed by. I was the only walker (it's a long trail).

cat town, Springwater Corridor

And then I spotted under an electric tower a set of plastic storage bins with holes cut in the front, lined with straw. A couple of cats were watching me to the right of the tower, one a black tuxedo and the other a brown-black tabby. Our eyes met. They froze. I reached for my camera. They ran into the undergrowth and hid, the scaredy-cats. I managed to capture just one shot. But somebody must have wanted for the stray cats along the Springwater Corridor a cozy place to escape the rain. With as much trouble as my roommate and I have had getting our respective female cats to endure each other's presence in the last couple years, I wonder, though, about the cat fights for dominance over the little plastic houses under the vine tower.

cat-town tabby, Springwater Corridor

The yellowed, dead foliage at the bottom of the towers, by the way, isn't natural but from pesticide sprayed along the railroad track. That can't be good for the poor feral cats, to be neighbors to a poison trail. Damn you, Agent-Orange Monsanto, and your toxic Roundup, you and the rest of the agro-drug-pushers, you modified-seed-monopolist thugs, you purveyors of unnatural hormonal bovine growth, trails of Superfund sites in your wake.

But the F.D.A., buyers, and users are also to blame. Go America! No one can stop your willful self-destruction. Why don't we just douse all the trees in the remaining U.S. forests with Agent Orange and Roundup, grind them up, and start feeding them to cows? Oh, and maybe we could round up all the stray cats and dogs in the country, grind them up, and feed them to cows? What else can we feed to cows in addition to "rendered animal parts," genetically-modified corn, genetically-modified soy, "poultry litter," and artificial hormones to make them grow into big, strong hamburger? Any ideas? Anyone?

engulfed pole

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