Thursday, February 2, 2012

The Tyranny of the Woodpecker


I was inspired to write once again about the Red Cockaded Woodpecker by my blogger buddy Mrs. AL (Always Learning).  All of us who are Marines are forced to deal with environmental Nazis whether we want to or not.  It might be Least Terns in San Diego, Desert Tortoises in Twenty-nine Palms, or Red Cockaded Woodpeckers in Camp Lejeune.  No matter – we all face them eventually.  Oh – and don’t get me started on vernal pools and surf thistles!



But the vaunted Red Cockaded Woodpecker is my greatest nemesis by far.  I first encountered these little bastards as an infantry lieutenant in the training areas of Camp Lejeune, North Carolina.  I rarely saw a woodpecker, but constantly encountered the evidence left behind by the watermelons* who sought to protect them.  You see, through the deep scientific study these lunatics determined that these birds needed to be protected from contact with humans in general and Marines in particular.  Their solution?  Every time they located a tree in which a pair of Red Cockaded Woodpeckers was cohabitating, they painted a double white band around the trunk of that tree.  Then in a ten meter radius around that tree they painted trees with a single band thus creating a visual buffer zone to help them procreate in quiet privacy.  We had to be quiet in those areas; we couldn’t camp or dig in those zones, nor use pyrotechnic devices. 

I must point out that I never encountered such a privacy zone when I was ass-deep in a swamp or off the beaten path.  All Red Cockaded Woodpecker procreation zones were immediately adjacent to a trail, path, or road.  Over the years however these zones continued to blossom.  While that should indicate an increase in nests and thus birds – the watermelons persisted in their demented tree anointing efforts. 

We non-scientists began to understand what was going on.  The North Carolina version of the Red Cockaded Woodpecker preferred dead trees as a homestead.  As we drove our tracked and wheeled vehicles through the pine forests of Camp Lejeune the sandy soil was compacted, the roots of the trees were crushed and the trees died.  Bingo - Red Cockaded Woodpeckers would call those newly murdered trees home.  The enviro-Nazis would appear (because there was now a convenient path to that tree) and daub the newly dead and occupied tree with red paint.  Vehicles now had to detour around that path.  If you are not an enviro-Nazis scientist you will see where this is going.  Our new path killed new trees and . . . . . I’ll connect the dots for the watermelons . . . . . Red Cockaded Woodpeckers took up residence and the watermelons showed up with more paint.  This made white paint suppliers ecstatic but was becoming a real pain-n-the-ass for Marines.

Then the most remarkable discovery of all.  We had a demolition range where we could use large explosives.  The largest thing I ever set off there was a 40-pound cratering charge, but I’m sure there were larger explosions.  One bad aspect of the large scale and continuous use of explosives was that chemicals leeched into the surrounding soil and killed the trees immediately adjacent to this area where earth rending and ear splitting explosions went off nearly every day.  Only an environmental scientist would be surprised at what they found ringing that noisy range.  You guessed it - Red Cockaded Woodpecker nests.  Those randy little birds didn’t seem to mind the occasional ear drum rupturing explosion – so why exactly were we tip-toeing through the woods skirting the love-zones created by the watermelons?   

As Ron White says – “You can’t fix stupid.”  That appears to be the problem with watermelons. 

Note: *Watermelons – Eco-Nazis a reference to them being green on the outside and red on the inside. 


22 comments:

  1. Great story. I do believe Red Cockaded Woodpeckers are GREAT with some good ol' smoky barbecue sauce. Gotta have a BUNCH of'em for a decent meal,though. Recommend a good dark stout ale with the little bastards.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Clyde,
      Your comment made me laugh out loud.

      Delete
    2. Clyde - good choice on all counts.

      Delete
  2. Amigo,
    Great story... and yes you just can't fix stupid. It's not possible.

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    Replies
    1. Hardnox,

      I'll have to write about the Least Terns when I have a minute or two.

      Econ-Nazis are hysterical to watch sometimes.

      Delete
  3. Great story. The frustration level continues to rise with these idiots!

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    Replies
    1. Right,

      So true - and no one calls them out on it.

      Delete
  4. As a Marine infantry squad leader, I had to update my Lejeune Special map every month for new peckerwood areas.


    Note to all:

    You can fix stupid - it costs about 69 cents.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Tenth,

      That's what sparked my interest so much. When you looked at a map when I was a youngs lieutenant there were lanes through the training areas that closely aligned with roads and trails. The affected areas started to grow. You never had one crop up in the middle of nowhere. That indicated to me that none of the watermelons strayed where I had to go.

      When I arrived for my second tour I was shocked at the size of the area covered. That was when I noticed the doughnut shaped area and on inspection, the hole in the doughnut was the cleared demolition range while the body of the doughnut closely conformed to the tree line surrounding the range.

      Hysterical.

      Delete
  5. The woodpeckers adapted while liberals are unable to...go figure.

    The watermellon moonbats remind me of a woman I'd known who was literally one of those "crazy cat ladies" who had about 50 cats crapping and pissing all through her house.

    She truely seemed to believe that unless she put 25 lbs of catfood on her back porch weekly and, let them all take up residence in her house, cats as a species would cease to exist without her "saving them".

    The eco-bat's heads are wired in the exact same way.

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    Replies
    1. -Sepp,

      Whatever they touch it turns to crap - that's what I've learned. What's particularly funny is that you don't have to dig very deep to expose it either.

      Those cats are particularly funny as watermelons go out of the way to protect them while feral cats are one of the biggest causes of bird death. They are working against themselves.

      Liberals (democrats, progressives, socialists, whatever) simply can't connect cause and effect.

      Delete
  6. Wow ... so you played with explosives, eh CS? That explains a lot -- haha

    Not having been in the military I haven't earned the right to actually comment on that part. However comma until today I was not aware of the "watermelon" designator. Egads, won't be getting any more of those in the summer time.

    Thanx for the mention and thanx for the education.

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  7. Mrs. AL,

    I didn't play with explosives very much - you can tell because I still have all of my fingers. I think most of us have a few funny stories about using a little too much or thinking we were far enough away.

    I don't recall who first drew the parallel between the fruit and the fruit cakes. I remember more the fallout in the news to the explanation. LOL You have to admit - it's perfect. The communists didn't go away - they just found outlets for their ideology that would be productive in reaching their goals.

    The environmental movement is full of useful idiots.

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  8. For those who don't believe this madness - I found a copy of the order that directs this insanity on-line dated 2005:

    http://www.lejeune.usmc.mil/gwarden/BO_5090.11%5B1%5D.pdf

    And yes - we actually write like that.

    The years must have dimmed the pain and my memory - the bands were not red - they were white. I must have associated "red" with the watermelons as is appropriate.

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    Replies
    1. CS,

      There are trees with red bands, and also blue, if I remember correctly. I don't remember what they were for, but they have now shut down southern Onslow beach to vehicular traffic because of the piping plover, which, by the way, tastes like chicken.

      Delete
    2. Tenth,

      I'm fairly certain that we have enough Piping Plovers in the world - but it will never be enough for the watermelons.

      I seem to remember them being concerned about the sea grass on Onslow Beach and we had to take elaborate measures to avoid churning through that on the tops of the dunes. I'm sure that helped save the Planet too.

      I think that the overall objective of the Enviro-Nazis movement is to get rid of people - or at least cull us down to a manageable level.

      Delete
  9. Wow ... playing with any explosives (save the ammo in my W. systems of course) would give me the willies. As some of us girl people would say, yuck.

    As for your oops, shackles by any other color are still shackles on liberty.

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  10. >>”...these little bastards...”

    I love it!

    Way to be entertaining and expose the folly of the Left all at the same time.

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    Replies
    1. CW,

      Thanks - having run across watermelons on both coasts - I have a number of stories about them.

      Delete
  11. Whenever I run into a Watermelon and they begin by yapping about the need to reduce the human population in order to save mother earth, I always say "you first".

    They never think that is funny.

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    Replies
    1. Hardnox,

      It's them and not you. I have a hell of a sense of humor and I think it's funny.

      Delete