The Weekly Recap and Sunday Nature Talk

This week continued the initial investigation of Trail & Daggers as they hunted for the elusive snipe…er snark; or was it a snail darter? Oh right, it was the insidious zebra mussel. So, Mark musseled his way to the front so that he could do the dangerous work of swimming underwater, alongside a moving cargo ship to take evidentiary photos. Daggers believes this ship is linked to one of the dangerous companies supposedly bringing in zebra mussels. For most of the time, nobody on the cargo ship seems to have noticed Mark and Diana’s fishing boat floating alongside them. That would soon change.

As Mark somehow made his way along the hull of the moving cargo ship while underwater with only a snorkel and no swimming fins, he still managed to take photographs of what he must have thought were zebra mussels, but looked more like barnacles. Meanwhile back in the boat, Diana Daggers only belatedly noticed that they had been shadowed by another boat, fast approaching.

As Mark surfaced, Diana was having words with one of the crew of this mysterious boat, and it looked as if there might be trouble. There was, but from another source. Some crew of the cargo ship finally noticed the two small boats along their starboard side, and started threatening them with “pirate deterrents” if they didn’t immediately depart. This is where things got even stranger.

Keep in mind that they were all in open waters, on a river. Mark’s boat and the other fishing boat could have just agreed with the demands of the cargo ship and turned their boats around to leave. Instead, the crew of the heretofore shadowy fishing boat suddenly acted friendly and told Mark and Diana to escape while they distracted the cargo ship’s crew, acting as a defensive screen. Thus, as Mark and Diana raced away, the cargo ship deployed fire hoses shooting water every which way, but mostly into the screening fishing boat.  

Was there any reason for this boat to stay behind and take this punishment? I don’t think so; it’s not as if the cargo ship’s crew were going to open fire on them. Of course, the cargo ship was well within its rights to at least wave off the two fishing boats. The boats were violating the cargo ship’s legal right of way and putting themselves into harm’s way. I’m not sure of the legality or even practicality of deploying pirate deterrents, but hey, this is an adventure story! There’s no drama if the two fishing boats just apologized and moved out of the way after a polite request. So, we have drama. But does the drama make sense? Will Mark turn back to help the crew of the other boat?

We’ll have to wait a week to find out, as Monday should see us return to the exciting conclusion to the debate between Cherry and the Sunny Soleil Society regarding the future of the local bee population.  But for now, it’s time for Sunday’s nature chat!

At last! As readers know, I’ve been hoping to see Rivera turn her Sunday focus to another aspect of Nature, rather than the usual “Our friend, The Grubworm” subjects. So climate change gets the nod this week.  That’s fine, too.

For once, I think Rivera was stymied on how to depict the title panel when the subject is an effect and not an animal. I suppose she could have tried using clouds, smoke, or water currents. Maybe she did and it just didn’t work very well.

Other than showing a bunch of birds, how about a panel showing a before-and-after image of a bird habitat damaged by climate change? That could help make Mark’s case; and I’m not sure the penultimate panel makes that point clearly enough. Also, call me picky (I’ve been called a lot worse), but it seems to me if you are going to talk about actions birds take to help the environment, how about showing a few birds engaged in these actions, rather than just a bunch of “clip art” style examples where the birds are not doing anything?

In any event, Mark certainly looks fatigued, doesn’t he? I’m sure that’s the point.