The other day I was walking along at Dog Park and tripped over something right in the middle of the path. I thought it was a root, but it was a few inches of rusted metal coil sticking up out of the earth, brought to light by recent heavy rain run-off that had eroded the dirt at the bottom of the trail. A few of us tried pulling out the wire, but it would not budge. So we covered up the exposed metal with a pile of rocks. We figured that people and dogs were less likely to injure themselves or contract tetanus from a pile of limestone than from rusty metal. A few days later, we asked Dean if he could use his bolt cutters to cut off the metal at ground level. He did better than that. Using a tool that looked suitable for a blacksmith or an ol' timey dentist, he extracted the offending wire from the path. Here is what he unearthed:
(Max's paw provides scale here.) It looks harmless enough, but it's about 36 inches of tetanus- inducing rusted steel. Bonus: When Dean pulled out the metal, he also dislodged about two pounds of broken glass (serious, old fashioned, heavy, pressed glass, like from light fixtures) and rusted metal cans (not aluminum beer cans, either, but tin cans with pull tab tops). All of which leads me to give more credence to the theory that our Dog Park was long a dumping ground. (Other theories, some of which can be proven, a mental hospital, a race track, and a cemetery for African American Austinites. More on these theories another time.)
Remember the old, dead pecan tree I featured here not too long ago? It was the home to a nest of starlings. Well, as of Monday, here is what is left of it:
There's a certain irony that the tree that reminded me of this Gettysburg monument to dead Civil War soldiers was removed on Memorial Day weekend.
A fellow Parker asked me what I thought happened to the birds. I don't know how much time birds need before they are "weaned." It would be very sad if our little bird friends had to flee their home before they could fly.