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.