Mailbag: Litter ruins nature’s abundant beauty

May 22, 2010

My annual ode to the springtime beauty of the Verdugo Hills is late this year, but the generous winter and early spring rains have created a continuing profusion of wildflowers.

Even this late, the early blooming pink storksbill, gorgeous deep purple phacelia and uncurling white popcorn flowers are still around although much diminished. Orange monkey flower lavishly decorating rocky road cuts, widespread pale lavender caterpillar phacelia, purple flowered whorls of chia, pink prickly phlox and yellow pincushion are at or near their peak.

Blooming chamise make some hillsides look as if the chaparral is covered with a light dusting of snow. Yet to come are brilliant red larkspur and penstemon.


Don’t expect the eye-filling wildflower panoramas of the Antelope Valley and Anza Borrego, but rather a more intimate connection to the large variety of flowers scattered here and there along the roads and trails.

But there is a blotch on this beauty — the bottles and other trash carelessly discarded along the way. There are three types of litter that particularly cause my wrath to erupt. I had made a resolution to no longer use derogatory descriptors for those who annoy me, but I’m going to renege on that resolution for this letter.

First of all, the word “stupid” is clearly the most appropriate term for those who smoke in the hills. A human and property calamity is only an errant puff of wind away. Secondly, dumb describes those persons who wipe their snotty snouts and then drop their soggy tissues on the Las Flores fire road, week after week, month after month and year after year.

Finally, there are the slobs that drop their organic litter where they stop to rest or drop unappealing peels of citrus as they walk.

Come on folks, we are privileged and lucky to have this tranquil de facto wilderness close to our homes. Treat the Verdugo Hills like they are your home. Carry out your trash and dispose of it properly so unsightly litter doesn’t mar the hillside beauty.



Bone marrow needed now

In April, more than 100 people visited Glendale Memorial Hospital and became a part of the Armenian Bone Marrow Donor Registry to save a 4-year-old girl (“DNA match a rare find,” April 8).

Charlotte Conybear is fighting aplastic anemia. Because of her Armenian heritage, doctors thought that would be hard to get an appropriate transplant. Immigrants go through a lot of hardships that others do not know. To help the young girl, Armenians invoked ties to their heritage and became a part of the registry.

This should awaken other Armenians, and other minor groups, which are slow to sign up for bone marrow donation.

I hope Charlotte will get a positive result from her friend’s efforts.



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