One of bummers of the Nature cove is it was created, in part, to act as a depository for silt brought up when the Delaware River channel was dredged. When I first arrived in Palmyra, the cove had a wonderful artificial pond which was surrounded by nice benches for resting and taking in the scenery. But a few years after my arrival in Palmyra the river had to be dredged and most of this spot was filled in. It was sad to see it go, but it was the purpose for the spot’s creation, so there really wasn’t anything that could be done 1. When the former artificial pond became barren waste of sand, it was a bit of a let down. But it’s not been all bad. Since the dredging has completed a good amount of native vegetation has been planted in the area, to prevent erosion, and it’s been fascinating to watch nature reclaim the vacant area with new growth.
I confess I’ve not spent a good amount of time walking through this new spot. In the Summer even the sparse growth gives me pause 2, and in the winter it’s just too barren. Yesterday, however, I felt called to walk a new path through the area which headed down to what remains of the artificial pond. I then detoured off the planned trail and followed a deer path through the low vegetation. I didn’t have any real goal, I just wanted to see what I found.
The deer path came to an end at a patch of tall grass, so I had to turn back, but not before I noticed something interesting lying down on the sandy ground. Several Budweiser cans were littered there, each crushed and in various stages of fading. At first I thought some people may have carried the beer back into the park to find an out of a way place to drink, but then I noticed the top of one can. It was a pull ring, which hasn’t been used in the US since the early 1980’s! These cans had been dropped into the river at some point, at the earliest several decades ago, and then dredged up and deposited in the park in the 2000’s. As I photographed the cans it amazed me how little understanding we humans have about our long-term impact on the environment.