Tuesday, April 25, 2006

poisonous scum

Originally uploaded by tardigrade.
Down splashes the water! streaking down the street! swiveling around tires and slipping around oily stains! Leaves collect in pitching masses. Flotillas of cigarette butts gurgle and boil with human spit-um and dog, bird, and unknown animal shit and vomit. Parts of decaying animals lurking in the dark street drains, swallow the incoming waters and mix it all up with the pesticides and herbicides skimmed from silly urban "gardens."

Sunlight kills many of the floating micro-organisms hacked up from diseased lungs and sickly bowels. But enough of the organisms attach to the coffee cups and plastic bags that cram the storm drains that rush to the sea.

This is just a picture of some water in a plastic pot that used to be clear.
It used to be free of horrors.
There used to be mosquito fish (which ate the mosquitoes) and damsel and dragon flies (which ate the fish and mosquito larva and adults).

Then we poured pesticides and other PAHs and plasticizers and mercury and lead and zinc and Tylenol and estrogen and drugs that prevent psychotic episodes in people - all the stuff that run down our streets into the sea and lakes and rivers and streams.

First the fish died. Then the dragon flies died. Then the algae and cyano-bacteria pulled up from the soil which covered floor of the pots. There were greasy globules of oily substances that kept things floating in suspension, There grew a skin of a sort that slowly rotated in the changing temperatures of the day. The water never settled out. Then the fungus grew. Bubbling thick masses of black and pink burped musty puffs of spores. You can smell the fungus for many meters from the pots.

Then one day, floating on the top were many mosquito eggs. The larvae hatched. They wiggled to the surface to sucked in their first gulp of fresh air.

They ate the algae and shed their skins of chitin and toxins.
Then another batch emerged.

The first batch died then the second ate the dead of the first. Little round heads of mosquito larvae bob at the bottom of the pots. With each new batch of mosquito larvae, the water cleared. With each new batch of mosquito larvae, they became more and more tolerant of the pesticides and other toxins that might kill them. Finally, the adults emerge from their pupas, ready to mate ... hauling out their shoulders from the slick surface. Masses of flies dancing in the pools of dwindling sunlight. ... and then the females, ready to take their first blood meal so they can lay the next generation of mosquito - able to tolerate the insecticides that killed its predecessors....

No comments: