Thursday, January 3, 2013

Deep Freezing Pests

It's zero degrees this morning here in the North Country. A squirrel is shivering outdoors, and indoors, the furnace rumbles on and on just to keep a baseline temperature.

There is a good side to this really hard freeze: pests which have flown or walked or crawled north may not survive these deep-freeze temperatures. For instance, the hemlock wooly adelgid dies at -4 degrees Fahrenheit. This tiny 2 millimeter long insect sticks to birds' feet and has been carried farther and farther north as climate change warms our winters.  The wooly adelgid literally sucks the life out of hemlocks leaving them dead and brown.

I saw my first possum in the compost pile just a few years ago. Formerly, its northernmost range was the state south of here.

We might consider the "pests" that have invaded our daily life in the past few years and decades--mobile phones, internet, Facebook. While these applications have their uses, they also invade our private space. Getting away from them is nearly impossible.

This is one more reason to go on a meditation retreat. We can retreat to a protected space where the influx of inputs slows to a crawl. At last, we can catch up with ourselves. Ahhh.

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