Climate Change: A Personal View

 We KNOW climate change is a reality.  (And if you don't, then this blog post is probably not for you.  I could make some not so nice remark, but I'm trying [and probably failing] to not be that kind of person.  Please skip this post if you are not concerned with our planet and environment and go on with your day.)  We've seen the heat waves and wild fires in the west and the downpours and flooding in the south on the news.  It's shocking.  It's frightening.  However, if you don't live there, it's just news that comes and goes.  Time passes and we forget; unless we are living it.  (And to those who ARE living it, please know that while I can't fully understand what horrors you are experiencing, I DO pray for you and I AM trying to do what I can to help improve the condition of our planet.)

My own lawn is pretty brown.  I thought about watering (unlike many in our town we do not have automatic sprinklers) if only to try and keep the Circada Killer Wasps away.  (Yes, there were more of them than ever this summer, which I don't understand.  They seemed to swarm on my neighbors yards, but nested in mine!  They particularly liked under my bushes where I couldn't get them and because of the lack of moisture there was lots of dry dirt that wouldn't normally be there.) By the time I considered water it was too late AND the state was experiencing drought and requesting that you water only one even/odd days depending on your address, so I gave up and let my lawn be what it was going to be.

But the effects of climate change didn't really hit home until our recent vacation to Skytop.  (Are you tired of hearing about the resort yet?  Sorry, it really IS my place of calm and relaxation.)  There is nothing I love more than walking/hiking while we are up there. (Unless we're talking about just sitting in a chair on the South Porch and just relaxing which is definitely my FAVORITE thing to do.  I can and do just sit there for hours on end.  Some might call it lazy; I call it refreshing.)  There are certain things I MUST do while I am there, no matter how many times I have done them.  Musts include:  walking around the Lake Trail, walking/hiking to Indian Ladder Falls and visit/walk part of the Leavitt Falls Trail.  Did all of these when we visited in mid-April (right before Easter) and did them again on our recent trip at the end of August.  That's 4 months apart.  Take a look at this...

The above is from April's walk around the lake.

Same spot, but in August.  See the difference?

If you can't spot in the above photos, let me show you my trek of Indian Ladder Falls.

This is me in April and below is last week.

Can you even see the falls?  Barely.  (As a matter of fact in some of the photos that I took when my son and I went up you can't even tell that it IS a waterfall.)  Let's take a closer look (sans me).

It's still incredibly beautiful, but the drought has taken it's toll...and not just here.

These are NOT pathways; these WERE waterways; brooks that trickled down, but are now dried up.

 Finally, I never did make it down to the Leavitt's Falls Trail this time.  Back in April here's what the head of the trail looked like:

Here are photos from just a day ago (looking down):

From rushing water in April, to NOTHING in August.  That's a problem.  And the beautiful (manmade) lake (not to be confused with the lake trail from above) is closed.  It's obvious why:

And here's how it SHOULD look:  

All is not well in the Pocono Mountains this summer.  (Please do not get me wrong; we had a lovely vacation and unlike some guests did not complain that the closing of the lake "ruined" our vacation.)  Certainly this does not compare to the drastic drought that plagues the west, but drought his here.  Climate change is visible all around us.  

We are past the time of debate; we ALL need to act.  ALL of us need to do what we can.  This doesn't effect you?  It does and it will.  Don't think that this is something we can leave for future generations to figure out; we ARE the future generation.  If we want to continue to survive, we ALL need to do what we can.  Don't bitch and moan about the cost; our lives and our planet is at stake.  Can we really put a price tag on that?  


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