As an outdoorsman and nature photographer I, like others, seek out the unspoiled, the pristine. We look for clear water and blue skies, for undisturbed, untrammeled areas. We tend to head off trail to photograph away from signs of human traffic, away from the footprints and tire tracks. In more urban areas those areas do exist. There are small pockets and edges and green spaces that offer countless photo opportunities. The majority of my work in fact is shot in Milwaukee and Waukesha county in close proximity to urban areas.
I was shooting in one such area on a lake in Waukesha county when it struck me just how much trash gets thrown out in these areas. It's always happened but with the snow melt an entire winters worth of bags and cups and diapers sprout up like mushrooms along the edges of parking lots and trails. Today I decided not to ignore it.
Who does this? Why do they think it's ok? In this particular area there is a dumpster and a delux porta-potty but there is trash everywhere. This is in a fairly affluent area used often by hikers, fishermen, duck hunters and bird watchers. Who thinks this is ok? Do they think it goes away? Is it someone elses problems? These are the same people who if they saw my dog do it's business in the parkway in front of their house would have a fit. The parkway is technically public land. The difference is THEY would have to clean it up because if they didn't it would affect THEM. In a park they can just toss it and drive off.
In the twisted back room of my mind I would love to find the owners of the trash and mail it to them......or take my dog for a walk.