Well folks, the monsoon season may have ended with a whimper, but the five month “wall of heat” has finally ended! Our stoic endurance once again proves that we are tougher than the average person and we can take a perverse pride in knowing we are entirely as resilient as coyotes and rattlesnakes. Year-round residents couldn’t be happier, of course – we like a cool day or two as much as anyone else. Here are the top ten indicators of the change in season:
10. You can walk barefoot to your mail box without getting blisters.
9. The rattlesnakes on your back porch are starting to get sluggish.
8. Local merchants become giddy with anticipation of lower temperatures. Some merchants even begin practicing forced smiles when customers enter their stores.
7. Pharmacies begin to stock up on over-priced medications.
6. The Wickenburg Sun begins a fresh editorial campaign against “Retail Leakage.”
5. Wickenburg grocery stores expand their alcoholic beverage sections — at the expense of the food products, of course.
4. Local restaurants that annually abandon residents during the summer season begin to reopen.
3. Motor homes with out-of-state license plates begin popping up in the usual spots outside of town.
2. The average speed of drivers in Wickenburg drops to 15 miles below the posted limit as winter visitors begin to dominate local streets.
1. And in the number 1 spot — November also marks another seasonal turning point — the date when litter along Constellation and Buckhorn Roads begins to increase dramatically.
The Moose Bridge has made a rather bold discovery: Litter does not fall from the sky — only meteoroids, asteroids and satellites do! Thus, we have concluded that beer bottles and other litter on the roads and trail-sides have an origin that is based solely upon human traffic in the area.
We began our report on August 24th with the knowledge that this represented a low point in seasonal litter collection. As stated in our previous article, this constitutes the “background level” of litter along Constellation and Buckhorn Roads. We have now collected 478 cans and bottles. For your edification and enjoyment, here is the report that ended on November 4th:
Some Quick Observations:
- Anheuser-Busch products lead all categories of litter. Not only is Budweiser the “King of Beers”, its consumers are also the “King of Litter.”
- Alcoholic litter leads by slightly more than 66%.
- 44% of all alcoholic litter is comprised of bottles. The Moose Brigade estimates that at least a one third of these are broken when tossed from a passing vehicle.
- These statistics do not include litter collection made by other individuals.
- The statistics omit all other forms of litter, including toilets, items that require the use of surgical gloves or booster shots, etc.
- The Moose Brigade has not located another bottle of “Moose Drool” beer, which is our symbolic emblem. Have patience though; we are confident that another one will eventually turn up along the road. Photos will follow soon after.
- Calamity Wash, which is just beyond the pavement as you head out Constellation Road, is a major litter point. This location is just outside of the Wickenburg town limits and Maricopa County. If the Wickenburg Police Department is not already posting an officer to perform sobriety checks on individuals who return from this area during the evening hours, they might consider doing so.
Constellation and Buckhorn Roads provide access for three types of traffic:
- Property owners (fewer than ten.)
- Ranchers who work their rangelands to care for cattle (about a half-dozen.)
- Recreational visitors who enter the area for enjoyment.
Recreational traffic has dominated the use of these roads for several years. As the cool season arrives the recreational traffic will far exceed that of the other two categories. It is, therefore, not unreasonable to conclude that seasonal and weekend visitors will continue to be the primary contributors to litter in this area.
One of the definitions of the term “dichotomy” is “a logical falsity.” For example: An individual who litters while at the same time professing to enjoy the beauty of our desert landscape.
You can’t prevent these semi-conscious morons from wrecking the beauty of our countryside, but at least you can help by picking up their litter during your journeys through the area. Join the Moose Brigade in this endeavor — pickup, classify, and toss the litter in a collection bin; then send us the results of your findings by adding a comment to this article.