I haven’t been around much recently, not because of a hiatus due to “blogging burnout,” but because of the nature of my professional life. Once Spring arrives, however it does, my work takes me outside, and away from computers for a good part of the day – or even days. Which means that for the most part, I have a few minutes in the morning to do a quick swing around the Internet, and in the evening try to catch up. One of the things I’ve been relearning the past few weeks is that no matter how much I thought I’d kept in shape, it turns out that there are muscle groups I hadn’t worked on that I’m now using, and that a long day out in the woods is exhausting. So my evenings have mostly been spent trying to deal with various aches, bumps, bruises, and stay awake. I’m sure I’ll be back in “field shape” in a short while, but time to blog is going to be in short supply.
I wrote about the flooding here, and yes, things are drying out. It’s amazing what a week of good weather will do to help dry things out, but there’s still a lot of work to be done to clean up the damage, and get things more or less straightened out. One interesting point about all this was that if you paid attention to the national news, or even the news in the larger media centers in this part of the country, you wouldn’t have known there was any flooding in this region. It’s a contrast to the virtually wall-to-wall coverage given to the flooding in the Midwest and the South. While no one around here expected massive coverage, one might have expected that record water levels and flooding in northern NY, Vermont, and Quebec might have merited at least a mention.
On the disaster front, I’m finding that I have very little sympathy for Texas, particularly their governor. He pitched a fit because the federal government wouldn’t give him disaster aid when it came to their wildfires, while states hit by major tornadoes got it right away. Of course he blithely ignored the grants the state had already gotten for fire disaster management, along with federal firefighters. What I find amusing – and has garnered a complete lack of sympathy for him – is that he’s been the one grandstanding about seceding, and making a big deal of how Texas was strong, independent, and didn’t need all the federal “interference.” Except that he promptly starts screaming his head off to get federal education aid and now this. My own reaction? Hey, he asked for this, and now he’s getting it. He – and the Texans who keep electing state government that goes this way – should just suck it up and deal with it. It comes under “You asked for it, now you’ve got it. What’s your complaint?”
We’re starting to see the first hatches of black flies, so black fly season is soon to be in full swing. As an environmental biologist, I appreciate their role in the ecosystem. The larvae are filter feeders, and help keep water clean, and they – and the adults – provide a major food source for many fish species. It’s not a good idea to seriously disturb that through the use of chemicals. As a person, though, particularly one that has to be out in the field when they are in full swarm, I really would like to carpet bomb the entire area with insecticides. I have those wistful thoughts about the time I’m layered in bug nets and covered in repellent, as a cloud of the damn things decides to descend on me. Once the season is over, I’ll go back to being an environmentally aware person.
With the black flies, I’m finally starting to see green in the trees. The leaves are starting to appear, so the rather barren forest I see now will soon be fully shaded, and alive. The birds are returning, I saw a pair of loons in one lake and have heard others, along with a lot of robins and chickadees. The woods have been getting noisy as the woodpeckers are starting to pound on trees, and ptarmigan are starting to “drum” to attract mates. It’s fun to see a male ptarmigan strutting his stuff, it makes a real show. I’ve seen some moose tracks in a place I haven’t seen before, so hopefully I’ll actually be able to see one – preferably when I have a camera. The trilliums are already blooming, and the viburnums are starting to bud up.
So if you wonder why I’m not blogging, I’m not paying much attention to politics these days. I have other things that are interesting, and … I get paid to do that.