Sunday, August 12, 2007

How to Reconstitute a Zombie

The secret's out. To reconstitute a zombie, give her a shower. I know it for a fact, because it worked for this zombie yesterday morning.

Got up bright and early yesterday to participate in a friend's movie-making adventure. Pax relates the gory details deliciously over at his blog. Suffice it to say that we all had a blast, and that we each took about half a ton of sand, dirt and corn starch (zombie makeup) away with us. That shower felt oh, so good!

Maybe I should have remained a zombie for a few days. Do zombies feel bug bites? I kind of doubt it! One scene required us to play dead on a sandy shore for several minutes. The side of me that was against the sand has several insect bites today. Sand fleas, ants or chiggers, who knows? They left their mark. Just the universe exacting payment, I suppose.

Filming was done at a remote pond Down Jersey. The environment here is a unique combination of sandy, desert-like areas juxtaposed against fairly dense woodlands. There is a deep pond here, with a reputation for some of the best fishing in this part of the state. There is access to waterways which, if followed for several miles, would eventually take you to the Delaware Bay, then on around the southernmost point of New Jersey to the Atlantic Ocean.

This area represents both the best and the worst of the New Jersey pinelands. There is beauty here, but the pond owes its existence to sand and gravel mining, which scarred the pristine forest and harmed the nearby waterways by creating a problem with saltwater intrusion. Waterways that had been freshwater ecosystems became brackish.

The desert-like portion of the landscape is maintained by human activity, mostly dirt biking. Hardy juniper ground covers would take over these areas, followed by scrub pines and then hardwoods like oak, if human activity ceased.

I am enough of a realist to comprehend that human activity will not cease, though it would be nice if some of the most pristine areas were to be maintained in a forest primevil state. I suppose dirtbikers need a place to ride, fishermen need a place to fish, boaters need a place to boat and so on. What disturbs me is the mindlessness and selfishness with which humans often pursue their leisure activities, leaving mounds of trash behind, beligerently riding in areas were riding is specifically verboten.

Despite my posthumous fleabites, we saw very little in the way of animal and insect activity at this location yesterday. Not many birds about, saw a fly or two, but no bees or snakes or the like. Didn't even see any squirrels. I'm sure the creatures are there, but we only saw a couple of dogs (both off-leash) and people doing their thing.

I don't know what the answers are when it comes to balancing human desire and greed for resources with the needs of all living things. I do know that desire and greed are two very destructive forces, both on a personal level and on a universal level. Greater minds than mine will have to propose a solution. I hope I have the courage to sign on when they do.


Pax Romano said...


I took two showers, and was told later by Whatshisname that I still had eyeliner.

I did not suffer any bites, but I did get some sunburn.

That said, thanks for pointing out the delicate balance that exists in our much maligned garden state.

PS, you were a great zombie!!

Merci said...

You were the ultimate zombie! I kept smiling. I'm sure they'll have some editing to do because of me.
This really was too much fun. We should have a make-a-movie club and do this once or twice a year!

mommanator said...

I am glad you arose from the dead and decided to write something for this ole gal to read! I hate I missed the shooting!

Merci said...

Wish you had been there, though we probably would have laughed far too much to get anything done! You would have had the dead bodies on the beach giggling, I just know it.

Zelda Parker said...

What food for thought you provoked.
The pictures are beautiful, suitable for framing in my opinion. Likewise I am sorry to have missed it. Just wasn't feeling very well.

Virginia Gal said...

Merci you're posts always make me think...why are we humans so selfish, why don't we understand that other living creatures exist that we are not alone on this planet..sigh, sometimes it gets so frustrating.

Evil Chicken said...

Well I, for one, could not have asked for a better group of zombies. You guys are the best – on several levels. It was a great Saturday morning. The next time we do something like this I’ll try to find someplace without any chiggers!

It truly is a beautiful area though. I’ve been heading back there for years. It’s a little oasis in the scrub pines and sandy soil. It’s been in the pages of Weird NJ for nefarious activities back in the seventies. Today it’s a haven for ATVers, hikers, people who fish and filmmakers ; ) . There’s much to see and explore back there. Between you me and the fencepost there’s one bumpy trail (much bumpier than the road in) that will take you out to amazing bluffs, sandy beaches and water as turquoise blue as the Caribbean – and I’m not exaggerating. It is beautiful. You are right about being a decent steward when it comes to treading on the world around us. The most beautiful places on earth would be trash heaps without a pinch of responsibility. Not to sound too much as if I’m going to throw my arms around closest tree but, there’s a lot to be said for “taking only pictures and leaving only footprints.”

Ironically, the day of the shoot we ran into a woman hiking out there with her grandchildren and her dog. She told us that the city of Millville is considering some act of legislation that would allow for development of a portion of the land back there. She mentioned something about a senior citizen housing complex and community. I hope that it falls between whatever bureaucratic gears it passes through. It’s not that I’m anti-senior; I’m just anti-development in the Menanico Ponds area of South Jersey. That whole, “they take paradise and put up a parking lot” theme comes to mind.

Yeah… I gotta find me a TREE!

Thanks again to the zombie crew of Joey B., Dr. Freud, Pax Romano, Little Red and, of course Merci. You guys rock out loud.