From the supervisor: Algae and deer
By Jim Lanning
The weather has become more seasonally appropriate and that is helping with the algae bloom on Skaneateles Lake. One of the challenges that we face is that when the algae cells die they release their toxins into the water. Sometimes the greatest levels of toxicity are at the tail end of the bloom.
The Skaneateles High School Environmental Club put on a great forum last week that was very educational and well attended. I hope that each of us considers the consequences of our lifestyles on climate change and the environment around us. I hit a deer with my car that night and deeply regret that I was unable to be a part of the discussion. This brings me to my next discussion topic.
Automobile collisions with deer tend to peak at this time of year. More deer are hit on our highways in the months of October and November than all the rest of the year combined. There are several factors that contribute to this. The first is that this is their mating season and the bucks are in “rut.” They are changing their routines and travel patterns in search of prospective mates. Being mostly nocturnal, they are enjoying the shorter days and roaming more and longer at night. Another contributing factor is that we change our clocks in the fall. This has the effect of putting rush hour traffic in a new and different place in the deer’s time frame.
The hunting season has already started for bow hunting and will soon begin for shotgun. This disrupts everything that they know as normal in the woods. There is no easy solution to this dilemma. Sound driving practices like both hands on the wheel, slowing down our speed, and expecting them to bolt out in front of us without notice are the best way to avoid them.
I am going to get back on my soap box about the transfer station! This time I want to talk about textiles. Clothing and bedding is all too often tossed into the trash stream. This is the most expensive way to dispose of it from a municipal perspective.
While there is not much value in used clothing, the fabrics can be recycled into a number of useful products such as insulation, fabric for furniture, and carpeting. A quick computer search will turn up multiple locations where fabric can be donated for repurposing. Our future is pretty clear that trash can no longer be thought of as “anything that we no longer want.” If we bought it or own it, it is our responsibility to process it into the appropriate disposal channels. This is easier to do if we live simpler lives and ask ourselves if we really need all of this stuff that we all accumulate.
As the days get shorter and we complete our fall cleanup projects I want to ask residents to examine the house numbers on their homes and their mailboxes. Are they clearly marked and easy to find? Could our first responders find your home easily and quickly in an emergency? Please review your situation and upgrade to the new reflective metal signs that the fire departments offer for a small $15 fee. The life you help to save may be a loved one or perhaps your own.
I want to express my grateful appreciation to the Major family for allowing so many of us to share in the celebration of Margaret “Peggy” Major’s life. It was quite clearly a life well lived. Their sense of family and sense of humor was evident and appreciated. Peggy will be missed to be sure, but her life and lessons will be carried on by all of us. Wouldn’t it be nice if we all strived to be more like Peggy?