Saturday, June 16, 2007

Of West Nile and Adaptations.

Seattle is still happily free of West Nile Virus and enjoys a large and boisterous crow population. Here, the crows are significantly diminished but I imagine the survivors will select for West Nile resistance over a few generations.

Given that they are significant predators of small song birds, the short term impact seems to be a significant growth in song bird numbers who may either be resistant to West Nile or unappealing to mosquito's.

The environs of little Bedford are a robust symphonic splendor of twitterings that would probably thrill old Messiaen if he ever makes it back here.

It also seems to have favored the Chipmunk population as these charming ground squirrels are everywhere filling yards with their hilarious little alarm squeaks. The deer have gone nuts too in some breeding frenzy and this, in turn seems to favor coyote growth.

Eastern Massachusetts is becoming a poster place for what happens when the land is left alone beyond a bit of now hamstrung real estate speculation. Much of it has returned to an open steady state of climax oak forests and this suggests some bit of hope for the newer parts of the nations human clobbered land. The Moose are back and the Catamounts or cougers now seem to be verifiable, if rare, too.

That aside, Massachusetts is loaded with bug pests I never saw out west. Deer Flies hover avid to chew you, ticks drop quietly from white pine saplings to spread a bit of Lymes and I imagine the city probably has a bed bug problem by now.

The winter is still a saving grace. Seattle is clobbered by runaway introduced invasive plants from english ivy to scotch broom to butterfly bush. None of that shit does well here, the winter wrecks it. And Seattlite embrace of fucking bamboo, really giant crabgrass that can cause huge problems is unlikely to be an issue here.

Goddamn I love real winter.