Saturday, March 27, 2010

Goodbye, November Skunk

The whole purpose of this project -- the photographic series and the thoughts behind it -- is to sway the overwhelming public opinion of dead animals. In class, I've gotten good feedback, and it's rewarding to hear classmates say that seeing my photographs over the course of the semester has changed their perception of dead creatures. It makes me happy to think that perhaps this project does change the opinions of the people it reaches -- and then there are days like today, when I find out yet another dead animal has been thrown away.

It being a warmer afternoon, Steph and I decided to check up on November Skunk. Remember, we'd buried its body beneath all sorts of sticks and logs and beach debris so that it a) wouldn't be found and b) would be protected over the winter. The body was gone. Someone had gone through an awful lot of trouble to uncover the corpse and remove it (they probably flung it into the water). The skunky smell, which was most likely the main reason for its disposal, still lingered, of course.

This made both of us rather upset -- and understandably so! We had hoped to track the skunk's decomposition over the months. Yet again, someone didn't recognize that dead animals are very much a part of the environment and deserve to be left where they are. The ignorance of whoever disposed of November Skunk is astounding, much like the people who threw April Deer in the dumpster. It's a mindset I just don't understand.

The silver lining to this whole thing was the discovery of March Gull:

March Gull II

All that was left was its wing. It was relatively small, probably belonging to a ring-billed gull.

March Gull III

Interestingly enough, I've found over the months that dead birds are more likely to be left alone than dead mammals. Does the average person interpret a dead bird as more "pretty" or "peaceful" than a dead mammal?

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