I’m still working out the conks in my incomplete tree of knowledge of the Pacific Northwest region. Recently, I have gained an interest in the importance of pollinators to the ecosystem. Bumblebees, flying dragons, damselflies, birds, and even mosquitoes are all included in this group. Among many, many more. Although there is an astonishingly vast amount of diversity and insect species coexisting in the forest, nearly all protected species are “sexy” megafauna. Sexy because they are the most well-known and cared for, such as pumas, while the undesirable insects are usually greeted with disgust. Not to mention the extensive, and failed management we’ve done to try and control mosquito populations. The insect world has proved fascinating ~ there is a willow tree that sends chemical signals to other insects when it has sensed that a caterpillar has taken sufficient amount of it as food. The insect is then directed to the caterpillar and proceeds to lay eggs inside said caterpillar. At the beginning of this summer, I started reading “Silent Spring” by Rachel Carson. Rachel Carson powerfully challenged the heavy use of pesticides in the 1960’s and its profound effect of the entire ecosystem. She was a martyr in environmental issues to say the least. Yet we have yet to fully grasp the damaging nature of herbicides and continue to freely spray.I recently read in the newspaper a plan to spray mosquito larvae directly into lakes here in Oregon way, claiming it would only be damaging to the individual mosquitoes. Unfortunately, because mosquitoes are undoubtedly tied to the food chain and the process of biomagnification — it is not feasible to contain the poison. From this, I have learned not to spite the bite of the mosquito as much as I have always done. Instead, I applaud their perseverance. Just because they are an inconvenience to us as humans does not mean they are a “pest” to the rest of the Earth.

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