I decided not to write my annual ode to the springtime beauty of the Verdugo Hills because the hillsides were already turning a desiccated brown in late February because of the lack of winter rains. Fortunately the plentiful March and April rains resuscitated the green and gave good vigor to the wildflowers.
I am writing once again about the trash that sprouts everywhere I hike in the hills regardless of the season or the rains. There is the small trash of candy, gum and energy bar wrappers and tissues that could so easily be tucked into the hiker's pocket. Worse yet is the multitude of cans and bottles. And, there is no better word than stupid for those who smoke in the hills. Many butts are found near the lower end of the Las Flores Motorway but are also scattered on the road to the top and beyond. Can you visualize the potential dreadful property destruction and lives lost if one cigarette ember sets off an uncontrolled disastrous conflagration?
Within the last year, I've discovered a new type of litter: 3-inch plastic bags; little white pill bottles that are labeled “Medical Cannibis” and, a first last week, a plastic container with a large green leaf and “Edibles” imprinted on it and cookie-like crumbs in it. It is sad that people want to poison their bodies with marijuana. but that's their choice. I do object to just dumping the various pot containers.Although I plead ignorance of the “pleasures” of pot smoking, would it not be reasonable to assume that the high obtained from smoking the stuff could lead to the accidental or thoughtless disposal of a smoldering reefer butt and a consequent fire?
I dream that all the Verdugo hikers will grow up and treat our de facto wild park with the respect and care that it deserves.