On a recent walk along our trail, I tripped over a 10-pound frozen cow pie (I do not exaggerate) and very nearly did a face plant on the ground. I had been scanning the tree tops for a glimpse of the owls and lost track of where my feet were headed. As I re-focused on the trail I noted the various traces of frozen animal poop that have been accumulating over the winter. Deer, rabbit, antelope, coyote, horse, dog and of course, cows. It seems since we established a trail by mowing down the tall grasses, the four-legged creatures have taken over our scenic route. But our flying feathered friends have also left their calling card on bird feeders, tree limbs, fence rails, and even windows on the house.
Then, of course, there are the barnyard variety of fowl who leave daily deposits. Fred and Ethyl, the Chinese geese, are notorious and had to be fenced off the front porch where they like to gather around the heated bucket of water we leave out for the dogs. If you have studied geese, you will note that water goes in one end and a strange, colorful deposit comes out the other end with great regularity! It must be all the grass and plants they eat. The guineas are much less of a nuisance in that department.
Perhaps I have become sensitized to poop since I took on the role of Mother Goose to four baby goslings. For the past three weeks I have been cleaning out the rabbit cage thrice daily and laying down fresh newspapers–The Wall Street Journal, Casper Star Tribune, Buffalo Bulletin, Wyoming LIvestock Roundup, High Country News–it is all the same to them. I have not detected a preference among them for cartoons over the sports pages, financial news over politics. But I digress.
It brings to mind a gift received not long ago from the Bighorn Mountain Forest Service. It is called the Wilderness Waste Containment Bag For Solid Human Waste. It seems so many humans have been transgressing into the Cloud Peak Wilderness Area and leaving behind piles of poop (along with Charmin blossoms) that drastic measures had
to be taken! The bright yellow mesh bag comes with its own toilet paper,antiseptic wipe, foil liner and reclosable tabs which allow you to “zip shut to seal tightly, locking in the odor and waste.” You then carry your poop with you to the nearest trash receptacle or landfill. Since these are far and few between in a wilderness area, you get the picture. Hopefully the wilderness trekkers will not confuse it with their lunch bags!