Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Days 347 and 348: Duck Hunters

I drove across the Sacramento Valley yesterday. Duck hunters everywhere. They dress in camouflage, and to save them from a walk, many had matching camouflaged ATV's with dog kennels riding on a back platform.

We owe a debt to these duck hunters. It was through a coalition of duck hunters and ranchers that has preserved a small bit of the Sacramento Valley. Before deep ecology came on the scene, as far back as the 20's, ranchers and duck hunters fought the agriculturalists to preserve some semblance of wetlands in the Sacramento Valley. Not near enough land was saved; enough to preserve some habitat for the Pacific Flyway.

In a couple of the tiny towns along the way, the duck plucker businesses were open. Family ventures that earn a little cash from suburban duck hunters who don't want to take the time to pluck their own ducks.

And my foot? Not broken. Dropped into the ER before work yesterday to have the kindly doctor take a look at it. We took an X-ray; not broken. However, there was evidence of "mild degenerative disease" on the the large bone on the bottom of my right foot. What does that mean? It means I'm turning fifty. It also means buying better shoes, getting some inserts and taking along Ibuprofen on twenty mile hikes.

The foot is swollen and bruised. Painful. No extra walks for a bit: doing 10,000 steps at work is enough to leave the foot engorged, black and blue and throbbing this morning.

Note to self: Get lots of hikes in this decade; the writing is on the wall.

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