Tuesday 29 May 2012
Though media portrays the end of the world as catastrophic,
it is likely to be much more mundane an end.
It is the subtle indicators that will evade us.
This is our first time being able to hang-out comfortably outside at this time of year.
That would be good news for most.
Our property is the perfect natural habitat for biting flies.
And so is the surrounding land.
This year is an exception.
There are few biting insects at all.
You likely know, but in the past, Canaries were used in mines to detect dangerous gas levels before humans would start dying.
It was an obvious signal to get out.
For me, the absence of biting flies is that same indicator.
And though the blood sucking insects may seem to be a scourge, their role is critical.
First, it is important to know that these insects only draw blood for reproduction.
Food and energy come from nectar.
Of course, that means that biting flies are pollinators.
As subtle as their absence may be, the implications are far reaching.
One of the great barriers to settling the land around here is the heavy presence of biting flies.
A reduction in their numbers means that more people may be enticed to farm in this part of the world.
So, having their numbers decimated appears to open that option; but not without costs.
Now it seems that some creature must replace the Blackflies as early season pollinators.
There will be less biomass in the air and all creatures will suffer from the loss.
the resulting loss will affect countless sub-systems,
and inevitably, our chances of survival.
Here on the ground, the only real difference we can make is allowing ourselves to be bitten for the sake of propagating threatened insect species.
There are so many factors out of our hands.
How are we to stop the degradation of the natural environment;
especially if we innocently support the decline.