The Dump - Grampies Go Valencia to Paris: Spring 2024 - CycleBlaze

February 3, 2024

The Dump

Waste disposal used to be an issue in our region. When we first moved here thirty five years ago, there was an incinerator. But it was decided that this was the source of too much air pollution. So the method shifted to landfill. But it was decided that this was the source of too much water pollution. That's when someone hit on the idea of just shipping the stuff away, to be someone else's problem. And that's how it's been now, for years. The garbage is loaded into big trucks and shipped off the island.

This solution left us with just a "transfer station", where the trucks are loaded. This may or may not be  good solution, but the transfer station (to us, "the dump") has at least one major side benefit. The dump is the premier place to see eagles, ravens, crows, and gulls. These four species are of course iconic ones for the island, with the eagle and raven playing large roles in native culture. These are not found only here, but this is an excellent place to find them.

The eagles are particularly impressive.  There are so many of these majestic birds sitting in the trees all around. The two photos below were not even shot at the dump, but rather just along the highway. The third shot, of the juvenile eagle, was in fact at the dump. All our shots are unfortunately foggy, for the main reason that the outdoors right now is extremely foggy. We have thought about returning to the dump (even scrounging around for some garbage we could bring), but it would mostly be in vain, bird wise, because of fog.

24077 Bald Eagle - Adult
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These majestic birds can be seen in trees all along the main highway.
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24078 Bald Eagle Juvenile - looking somewhat bedraggled on a foggy, moist day. Lacks the white head!
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When you see the often huge ravens side by side with crows the difference seems obvious, but in many circumstances we are not sure. At least the raven's beak is bigger and thicker than that of a crow. It's hard to tell from their calls, because each has at least ten different vocalisations. Many are of course variations on "caw, caw" but what I remember most is ravens flying through our forest, clicking, or maybe saying "dork, dork". It's quite a haunting sound, when heard deep in the forest.

Raven prancing across the snow. See the beak, it's much bigger than a crows'.
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Steve Miller/GrampiesTo Bill ShaneyfeltWe have never actually heard a local raven saying "nevermore". Maybe our birds speak a different dialect?
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2 months ago
Bill ShaneyfeltNor have I, but apparently Edgar did... :-) Decades since I read it.

https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems/48860/the-raven
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2 months ago
Northwestern Crow-thinner beak.
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A small gathering of crows.
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Karen PoretThe poop roost 😬
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2 months ago
24075 Brewer's Blackbird. Note their opinion of the anti-bird spikes.
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Scott AndersonReally? That’s the purpose of those spikes? Seems pretty obvious now but it never occurred to me.
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24076 Glaucous Winged Gull Juvenile, first winter's plumage.
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You might be thinking, golly no wonder these Grampies are keen to get going with new cycle tours, if all they can find for excitement at home is trips to the dump, even without garbage. But really, except for when there is fog, it's a great place to visit!

Eagles (Juvenile and Adult) and Ravens, in the fog.
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Scott AndersonThat’s funny. I haven’t thought for a long time about my trips to the dump with my father and how much I enjoyed them because of all the gulls.
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2 months ago
Karen PoretTo Scott AndersonDump runs in Hawaii are very similar to yours. My sister in law takes her Hilo trash to the transfer station once a week. Island life is not always so “idilc” ;)
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2 months ago
Steve Miller/GrampiesTo Karen PoretIt wouldn't be so bad if there was only a plan for dealing with the trash after it reached the dump.
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2 months ago
Karen PoretTo Steve Miller/GrampiesTotally in agreement! Barges off the island to elsewhere are not the solution! But, reading of others journeys in India and Pakistan where it “just is” just about “everywhere” is worse.
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2 months ago