I am in California to speak among the judges and attorneys of the Eastern District in Lake Tahoe on Sunday. As many on this blog know, I am an avid hiker and often take the opportunity of these trips to explore the local trails and forests. Yesterday, I hiked the Tahoe Rim Trail and then the Mt. Rose Trail. These trails take you along the Nevada and California border. The latter is quite difficult as you work your way up the summit of the highest point in the area. At roughly 9000 feet, it is the highest peak of the greater Sierra Nevada range. It is a gorgeous though strenuous hike.
I started Sunday with a dawn hike at Billygoat trail. I then went on a hike with visiting family (and our dog Luna) to Scott’s Run. It was a gorgeous fall day with temperatures hovering in the 50s. Scott’s Run is shorter, but you can walk to the waterfall and then along the river. It tends to be quite busy, but it remains a favorite for dog owners.
Elephants are remarkably intelligent and communal animals. They often exhibit the same attachments as humans to members of their herd. That attachment led to tragedy this week when most of a herd died in Thailand while trying to rescue a calf at a waterfall. This terrible loss should educate people about these animals and the savagery of hunting them. I have repeatedly denounced killing giant elephants and other forms of trophy hunting. From the killing of Voortrekker (“Pioneer”) to countless other elephants, these magnificent animals are being killed for the vanity and thrill kill of wealthy hunters.
We as a rather insular species often forget that nature tends to get along well when left to its own devices, while a human construct such as bureaucracy tends to languish and fail when permitted equal liberty. I found credible proofs to both when traveling on business recently–a former Forest Service campground, abandoned apparently due to red tape and yet showing quite clearly that nature still moves on. And it does so vibrantly.
The problem with blood hoses is that they are inclined to human-error hemorrhaging. Protesters in London planned to use an old fire engine to spray the Treasury building with fake blood but it did not exactly work out . . . .
I took my customary dawn hike on the Billy Goat trail this morning and the trees are just showing the start of fall. With it comes my favorite season in Virginia. Soon I will return to Old Rage and other favorite sites to enjoy the changing foliage. Here are a few pictures from this morning for the vicarious hikers.
We have previously discussed cruel abuse of wild animals by people who then post their twisted achievements on the Internet. One such idiot is Robert Lee “Bo” Benac III who recorded the dragging of a shark to its death behind a high-speed boat. Benac was given a generous a plea deal and sentenced to only 10 days in jail. He is the third person to face charges for the disgusting videotape shoot near Egmont Key, Florida. Benac pleaded guilty to two misdemeanor charges of aggravated cruelty to animals and violation of Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission rules. This is what you get for an open and brutal case of torturing a wild animal to its death.
I previously warned the nation of the invasion of airborne Canadian wolves. Now, it appears that our Northern neighbor is switching back to the land attack with news of an invasion of feral pigs. They can be distinguished from our own feral pigs apparently because they are more polite and put mayo on everything.
This morning I took my customary dawn hike on Billy Goat trail. It was nice and cool and empty as the sun rose over the Potomac. Below are a few of the pictures from this morning for any vicarious hikers. Wildlife this morning included deer, blue herons, and turtles.
At dawn, I took my customary hike on Billy Goat Trail with the rising sun. It was lovely with the soft light of a cool overcast morning. Here are a few pictures from the hike this morning and a few from last weekend on the Billy Goat.
One of the most consistent areas for the Trump Administration has been its extremely anti-environmental stance on everything from national parks to climate change to pollution control rollbacks. The assumption is that Republicans simply do not support the environment, an assumption that I have always contested. A new poll may give the GOP and its leadership some cause for pause in that regard. There is growing unease — and majority — among Republicans over environmental harm. The numbers showing up for younger Republicans should worry the leadership. Trump and others have made the party synonymous with climate change denial and anti-environmental protection. That could ultimately force young Republicans out of the party even thought they share other values on fiscal conservatism, states rights, and other issues. With women showing a shift away from Trump and the GOP, the loss of young voters would leave a dim future for the party.