Human Day

Just a little color

I was going to write about marketing today. I love to pick on marketers, or perhaps that should be marketeers. I always have to acknowledge that our daughter is a marketer, but she’s a good one. Like my friend Paul is a good lawyer. Instead, I decided to write about why I didn’t write about Earth Day.

It’s not because I’m anti-Earth Day.

If ever there was something we should think about every day, it’s Earth, but not as if it’s a noble challenge we’re taking up to “save the planet.” If you think about it, “Earth Day” is backwards. It should be Human Day. If we mess up the planet, we’re the ones who are screwed. Earth will get over it. Earth will shrug its mountainous shoulders, sigh a sigh of relief and mutter a great big: “I thought they would never leave.”

I’m pretty sure that if we find a new planet, a Planet-B as some people are saying, Earth won’t be giving us back our damage-deposit and probably won’t give us a good reference.

Lots of you wrote around the Earth Day theme. I enjoyed your posts. I was particularly touched by a statement that Cheryl made in her beautiful post:

Yeah! Today is Earth Day, you know, a day set aside to make a real effort to remember where our gifts come from and to honor the agreement we made with the Creator to be stewards of this blue and green miracle.”

Boy, did we mess that up. Let’s hope He doesn’t send us back as garbage eating bacteria.

Wonder where these are today?

When I searched on Earth Day I saw an ad from 2007 when Home Depot gave away a million Compact Florescent Lamps (CFLs) on Earth Day. I thought: “marketing…sigh” – yeah, it’s hard to get me off my train of thought. I wonder if they collected the 5 milligrams (times a million, or about 11 pounds) of mercury and properly disposed of it. If you Google: “are cfls good for the environment” you’ll find stuff all over the map. Was giving away a million CFLs good for Home Depot’s bottom line? Only they know. They aren’t giving CFLs away this year, and they aren’t giving away LEDs.

I can avoid Home Depot, but some people bring the conflict to my front door.

I’ve dealt with earth-friendly and earth-unfriendly people, ever since I bought a house. The River Keeper folks used to come around asking me to give them money and sign petitions. They wanted to close a local manufacturing plant because it was only compliant with clean water regulations when they felt the company could do better. Well, they were compliant, and they were employing a bunch of people, so get off my lawn.

Speaking of my lawn, I routinely turn down the folks who want me to pay them to slather it in chemicals to make it uniformly green and bug free. I.E. no “weeds” and no bugs. And yes, bees are bugs, as far as they’re concerned. My lawn would be pretty for the guests I never invite, but I couldn’t let Maddie walk on it.

That’s what I’m talking about – when humans are gone, lawns will revert to wildflowers and weeds, and bees and butterflies (if there are any left) will once again flourish. Human Day, people, not Earth Day.

The gallery contains some of the little miracles I noticed while walking with Maddie this weekend.

66 thoughts on “Human Day

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  1. Thanks Dan. The true intent of Earth Day was about appreciation and awareness. As always Commercialism will out, taking advantage of any chance to suck the money from our pockets. It’s why I no longer enjoy any traditional holiday not to mention all tne new ones. Chocolate friggin Mousse Day? Seriously?
    Anyway, I enjoyed your walk. It’s all these things that make life worth living. Love the water drops on the AC grate! I guess where I came from Earth Day was a real nice way for hippies to be themselves for a day, encourage others to plant trees, recycle and just enjoy the weed…um weeds. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for the inspiration for this one, Cheryl. Your comment really caught my attention. I’ve wanted to say this before, but I didn’t want to seem anti-Earth Day. It’s just that I see people who are all “what are you doing for Earth Day” and then having their yards and trees sprayed to keep bugs away from their BBQ. I know you, and I know that you have a lasting and consistent concern for the planet.

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  2. Fantastic post, Dan. I very much agree with you – Earth Day should be renamed Human Day. Have you watched the National Geographic’s series, Parched: Money Flows? Nothing has impacted me in recent years as much as this series. Beautiful photos…I especially love the two photos of water drops…

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  3. Could not agree more. I was nodding and agreeing and smiling ruefully through this entire post.

    People slam mining for the destruction it causes. I agree, miners used to do a lot of stuff with zero regard for the consequences. But I also have to say that I’ve tried to find prospects that were worked just 50 years ago. Couldn’t find ’em. Nature to the rescue.

    I recall walking to work one morning, through a park. I was delighted to see a rabbit on the lawn, much like your bunny up above. I was devastated to see the marketing sign on the lawn next to the critter. “We’ve done a fabulous job of lacing this lawn with all manner of nasty crap, so it’s best you and those nearest and dearest avoid stepping off the path for a while. You don’t mind, do you?”

    What do you think. Should I get a job as a copy writer?

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Truth in advertising has never really been very successful, Maggie. Get some sad bunny pictures and beg for money on late-night television – that seems to work. Uh oh, I’m starting down the road to another rant. Happy Human Day :-)

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  4. Good one Dan. Did Faith get her marketing instincts from you – Human day ? We are on a closed system. A very large space ship. Once we destroy and deplete the resources then we are stuck. And not in a good way. Thanks. And great pictures from your walk.

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    1. Thanks John. I think Faith might have noticed that I can be pretty gullible. “There has to be a future in that…” Let’s hope we realize that the ship’s resources and tolerance for its passengers are finite.

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  5. Human Day should be every day…how we treat the planet, each other and ourselves. When I was reading about the lawn care and chemicals, I was also thinking about the chemicals we put inside ourselves or expose ourselves to every day. Reading food labels is a real eye opener, but that’s a topic for another day.

    I love all of your photos, so springy! And I love that you respect life of any creature and the weeds, although I hope you never have creeping Charlie all over your backyard. Nasty!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Mary. I do wage an annual war against Bittersweet and Poison Ivy. Food labels, labels on over-the-counter medicine and those on cleaning products is primarily handled by the Mrs. Very little gets past that woman (I still miss my bath soap).

      We absolutely need to look beyond the immediate goal of a fresher smelling sofa, shinier hair (those who have hair) and a greener lawn.

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  6. Nice, Dan. :-) I didn’t write about Earth Day because I can’t understand why it should be put into a square box as a ‘day.’ It should be a way of life – taking care of that which allows us to reside here. I loved, “I thought they would never leave.” If some of our fellow humans don’t wake up, smell the pesticides, and appreciate the work the pollinators do, those shelves at Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s will dry up. Yes, and it will be shocking that they will have to finally understand that Joe doesn’t grow that food that he markets to them as better than say the organic section of our friendly box store. This is why it is better that I read your post and stay off the airways when it comes to Mother Earth. :-)

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    1. Thanks Judy. I am excited at the prospect of soon being able to buy produce from local farmers. We always buy dairy from a local farm, even as the regulators make it harder and harder for them to do business. Treating the earth better shouldn’t be reduced to a day, nor should it be a marketing ploy. It should be a way of life.

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  7. I’ve just sat over here Mmhm-ing. “Earth will shrug its mountainous shoulders, sigh a sigh of relief and mutter a great big: ‘I thought they would never leave.’ YES.
    And also the lawn care. Poison. Poison for my dog and for my pollinators. Poison makes pretty, I spose, but then what will the bees eat and where will the ladybugs nest?!? I need both for my garden, so I can EAT.
    Great post, Dan :)

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks Joey – We had a previous dog get sick from a so-called organic pet-safe fertilizer. Nothing goes on that grass now. A guy stopped about three weeks ago wanting to know if I was interested in making our yard beautiful. I told him we like it fine, just the way it is. I think I heard the chipmunk clapping under our porch. And, yes to ladybugs :)

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      1. BTW Dan, my third son, the “farmer” and chief ot all things natural, always has wild things all over his yard. He says that cultuvated grass is the real weed in our world and that what we call weeds are what is most natural. He did have some lovelu wildflowers swaying in the breeze.

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        1. I like the way he thinks. Grass really is a ridiculous concept. I remember growing up and not being allowed to play in some yards. At least my dad only cared about his front yard. We could play in the back and on the side, all we wanted.

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          1. We played anywhere we wanted. My Dad took great care of mowing and trimming but never cared about special fertilizers ot greening, wild clover was all over and my boyfriend was king of finding four leaf clovers! The bees were happy.

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            1. We had a huge yard on the side of the house. We had a corner lot and we played softball and wiffle ball there all the time. We also had pheasants and rabbits in the woods behind us. My dad planted lettuce in rows around his garden. He figured if the rabbits ate that, they would leave the rest alone – it worked.

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  8. Wonderful photos! I’m so glad I don’t live in a suburb where all the neighbors compete to have lawns that look like 1950s real estate ads. Out here in our clearing in the wilderness, we can have all the “weeds” we want. Although Charlie cusses violets all the time. Don’t worry: I stick up for ’em!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Good girl. They’re so pretty and the bunnies love the leaves. My neighbor actually once pointed to something and said “you know, that’s a weed.” I told him it was green so I counted it toward the lawn. Thanks for the support.

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  9. My husband detests all “other” holidays, the kinds made to sell cards, flowers, etc., such as Sweetest Day, Secretary’s Day, Grandparents’ Day, etc., etc. Serendipitously, we spent time on Earth Day and Sunday picking up trash from around our small overflow lake only a few blocks from our house. We’ve been wanting to do that for some time, but just hadn’t gotten around to it. There’s still much shoreline to cover, but we made a lot of progress. Most people walking just ignored us, but one man thanked us for what we were doing and said he wished more people did it. We didn’t see him there on Sunday, though. :-)

    janet

    Liked by 1 person

    1. First off, nice going on the clean-up activity. Second, I’m with your hubs on the “Hallmark Holidays” – some of them drive me crazy. I forgot all about Sweetest Day. My mother used to drop hints about that one, but I’ve never been a fan. Last, but certainly not least, thanks for dropping by :)

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  10. My biggest bugbear is people arguing over whether human-induced climate change is real or not and whether it means we should be supporting renewable energy, etc. Does it really matter? If we have the technology, shouldn’t we do all we can to walk more lightly on the Earth?
    Very much enjoyed your blue sky photos. It’s wet and grey here today.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I just gave a very similar answer to a friend last week. Does it really matter? We recognize a problem, and again, it’s a problem for us, not Earth. I don’t think the earth really cares if Miami goes under water. If we can do something to mitigate or solve the problem, why wouldn’t we do that?

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  11. We used to find rabbit burrows in the yard because there was a huge woods that our street was backed up to. We a,so had patches of shaded dirt areas under the big oaks that had no grass at all. That soft, cool dirt felt so nice on a hot Summer day. Great for hopscotch!

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  12. Loved your blog. Great idea with human day. It would make sense to just create a separate day for that as well. Not like it would hurt anything. Outstanding pictures. …taking them well walking your dog is an added bonus. I have done the picture taking well dog walking for years. Great to see someone else enjoying the small and big wonders that surround us each day.

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    1. Thanks. Yeah, I started carrying my camera with us on our walks a couple of years ago. There are a lot of everyday things that make nice photos. I especially like watching the birds and squirrels, and our dog doesn’t seem to want to bother them.

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  13. The earth doesn’t need anyone. We need it. And we need it in a healthy state. Same with animals. They don’t need us. We need them.

    “when humans are gone, lawns will revert to wildflowers and weeds, and bees and butterflies (if there are any left) will once again flourish.”
    Very well put. I don’t see butterflies, either. I hope there are still some left in the wild. Actually, I don’t see plenty of things that I used to see. Grasshoppers, lizards, bats, certain birds, etc.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Not sure, I want to go with that “Human Day”. There are a whole lot of critters who live on the other side of the ditch in the Minnesota Mosquito Refuge, who would want “their” day. Not sure I could afford it.

    The only compensation I am willing to give is space for a bit of breeding and off-spring raising for the waterfowl who hang out in my pond. Not sure how that works out either. It’s more like feeding the coyotes.

    I try to get along with Mother Nature….but the girl has her moods.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. You’re right, of course. I have a frequent fight with amore when he wishes to go all gonzo against ants and other ‘pest’. I know many are doing the same, that’s why we are where we are. And bees become just bugs. :( Many lovely photos you’ve got here, but Maddie again steals the show – not just for her own gorgeous self, but I really love the composition.

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    1. Thank you. I complain about ants, and I don’t want them in the house or too near the house, but my wife marvels at how hard they work. We love watching the bees and the few butterflies we see. Maddie stealing the show? Yeah, that happens a lot. That dog knows she has a fan club. Thanks for stopping by.

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  16. I’ve been down and out too long with this sinus-headachey thing and so relying heavily on “likes” when I read my friends’ blogs, but I had to tell you how much I was struck by this sentence: “Earth will get over it. Earth will shrug its mountainous shoulders, sigh a sigh of relief and mutter a great big: “I thought they would never leave.” I wish I had written it almost as much as I wish my sinuses would go back to work.

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  17. For me Earth Day was a big deal when it first was introduced because the Earth was – at least in my mind at that time – still salvageable. I think that ship sailed long ago and with it my interest in Earth Day. Back then the movement to change our dangerous global ways seemed to have some momentum until it hit the brick wall of corporate greed and government skepticism. Not much has changed in all those years…except the Earth has gotten worse off, of course. That changed. Human Day works for me. Maybe a reboot will help a bit.

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    1. I remember when it started. It seemed to capture the optimism that was a characteristic of our generation. Then we all started wanting a second car and a bigger house, and, and, and – and the earth took a backseat to everything else.

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  18. This was a beautiful post and I love the title and your message.
    My family doesn’t fertilize, my Mom used to first try vinegar water on the weeds in the gardens. Then, I think she used bleach water. . . never on violets and she dug up dandelions for the compost pile to make the worms happy. I hope we will have a world which is kind, good, clean and living for centuries to come. If only we could look into the eyes of the animals and children to help motivate us! I loved this, Dan. :)

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