Archive | September 2016

Trump supporters need reality check

By Jim Brown

Maybe Trump supporters would reconsider their support if they were to learn his protectionist trade policies would make the flat screen TVs they get Hannity on hundreds of dollars more expensive.

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Where have all the mosquitoes and blackflies gone?

By Jim Brown

It’s less than a week from the first day of fall so I think it’s safe to say I’ve just had one of the eeriest summers in my life. I can’t recall more than a couple of times when I’ve actually had blood drawn by a biting insect. Just the other day I took the dog for a walk early in the morning in malarial weather – the air soaked with humidity and rain starting to gently fall. I didn’t see a single mosquito, though I walked the dog right to the edge of the Stanley River, through a path carved into a marsh. And that’s been the case all summer. Something is definitely missing this year and it feels vaguely disturbing. Places I went to last year in eastern, central and western PEI where the air vibrated with mosquitoes and blackflies were empty of them this year.  I’ve talked to many other Islanders and to visiting tourists and most shared the same recollections – fewer or virtually no biting insects. Of course there were a number that looked at me askance as if to say, “are you nuts? I was eaten alive camping.” But for the most part there were many people like myself who are a little worried. Don’t wildlife, such as swallows and bats, rely on blackflies and mosquitoes for a big part of their diet? Don’t trout feed on blackfly and mosquito larvae? Could it be the drought conditions we’ve experienced on PEI for much of the summer? But how does that explain the absence of bugs at marshes? If anyone dsc_0024has an answer I’d sure like to know.