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Old 12-08-2018, 01:19 PM
6,293 posts, read 3,566,992 times
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Apparently, Mainebrokerman, our posts and perceptions are influenced by where we live.

I was thinking about "the old days" when those of us who knew about the swimming hole out by the river gathered there were no posted rules at all. And people did have their dogs tag along, never on a leash. People did smoke and drink at the sand pit. But there was less hassle than now with all the signs posted and dogs on leashes. The atmosphere was more mellow and less hyper.

And I think there was more courtesy. There was more of a sense of "we're all in this together." The big dogs were usually working dogs and didn't have to lick every face in the place. LOL The owners didn't expect everyone to fawn over their pet and make excuses for typical bad dog behavior.

Where I was living it was unusual to see careless littering and where it existed some hippy or tree-huggers would get together and keep it clean.

Some of this may be the sensitivities of age but my memory is still good and I think there are distinct social changes in the younger generations that have changed the way people use natural areas and the tone of interactions.
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Old 12-08-2018, 04:09 PM
2,575 posts, read 4,688,097 times
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Originally Posted by Annie53 View Post
Butterflies and fireflies were plentiful back then, now their numbers have been greatly reduced.
I'm an entomologist, and this is the first thing that I thought of, too, as well as many aquatic insects like caddisfly larvae, whose numbers have been decimated due to water pollution in streams.
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Old 12-08-2018, 04:14 PM
3,604 posts, read 1,639,332 times
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Fireflies. Used to see hundreds of them making the night sparkle.
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Old 12-08-2018, 04:54 PM
Location: on the wind
7,086 posts, read 2,899,892 times
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Originally Posted by jim9251 View Post
Gosh I guess it all depends on where you live. I see elk, deer, squirrel, chipmunks, coyotes, fox, hawks, bald eagles, wild turkey, butterflies, mountain lion, badger, racoon, hippies...all sorts of wildlife here.
What many people continue to see in that semi-developed-semi-natural fringe around civilization are species that are tough, opportunistic, tolerant of human activity, and able to reproduce themselves rapidly. What tend to go silently missing are those more sensitive or specialized species that can't adjust fast enough to habitat change and loss. People forget that no habitat is static; they don't reach some ideal point and just sit there indefinitely. Habitats shift and transition constantly and so do the species that make the best use of each phase they go through. Humans tend to acknowledge "change" in terms of their own lifetimes, not the much longer more significant timespans. We tend to miss a lot or dismiss it.

When human activity selects for (or tolerates) one habitat over another because it benefits us, it's going to hand an advantage to one suite of species over another. When human activity creates a new habitat through the destruction of another (such as creating agricultural landscapes out of tropical forest for example) it won't benefit all of the native species that happened to occur there equally. We tend to notice the very obvious, not the obscure and secretive. We also tend to favor the pretty even though that pretty creature didn't necessarily have a very beneficial role in that particular system. We also tolerate species that don't cause us much inconvenience. Annoying species (think of the historical slaughter of predators) or species that compete too well for resources we want get removed.

Humans like to shuffle species around; introducing species we happen to like to areas where they didn't occur on their own. It's often for idiotic reasons. Don't get me started on that arrogant fool who decided N America should have all the birds mentioned in Shakespeare's plays. Sometimes that is "successful" (depending on your point of view) and sometimes it's not. The "successes" usually end up eliminating something that did belong there or becoming so numerous they become such a nuisance we end up spending time, money, and other resources getting rid of again. We have only ourselves to blame for many of the inconvenient changes to our environment.

Last edited by Parnassia; 12-08-2018 at 05:46 PM..
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Old 12-08-2018, 07:36 PM
Location: Eugene, Oregon
9,125 posts, read 2,994,022 times
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All my life, during about 7 months of each year, the kitchen had a large flock of tiny drosophila fruit flies, often known as "wine pigeons", especially if there were bananas on the counter. They'd follow me, if I took a banana to bed, as a snack. But starting about 8 years ago, they began thinning in number and for a couple of years, there hasn't been a single one.

But they were replaced by a wintertime horde of little odorous house ants. They've gone everywhere in the house and some even crawled over me in my bed. One night, I woke in distress, as one was crawling around underneath an upper eye-lid. But here we are this year, in December and I haven't seen a single one yet. Has the environment become too unfavorable for even them?
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Old 12-08-2018, 07:48 PM
Location: Ohio
15,158 posts, read 13,418,020 times
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Someone mentioned ladybugs.....never see them anymore, just the Asian version and plenty of them....and unlike sweet ladybugs......they bite.

Growing up I never saw a tick and we played in the fields and woods, our dogs with us. I am 65 and never saw a tick until I was 30 and I didn't even know what it was. Hate them.

I remember Japanese Beetles being all over my mother's roses and the clothes she hung out on the line.....I can't even remember the last time I saw one.

Stink Bugs.....never saw one of those until about 10-15 years ago, always have a few spending the winter in the house. When I see one I try to put it someplace where the cats won't find it, any that survive the winter get relocated outside in the spring.
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Old 12-08-2018, 07:54 PM
Location: Forest bathing
1,631 posts, read 962,166 times
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We have lived in our current home on rural acreage for 35+ years. We have noticed fewer garter snakes since new neighbors moved in 3-6 years ago. They mow their horse pasture and fruit orchard whereas prior owners didn’t. Also, there are fewer owls hooting at night due to extensive clearing of forests for new construction.
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Old 12-08-2018, 07:54 PM
Location: Earth
238 posts, read 84,436 times
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I live in the thick of suburbia, and there's no shortage of raccoons, possums, brown rabbits, owls and plenty of squirrels. I'm near a nature sanctuary that has plenty of deer, groundhogs and fox. Less common now are tortoises, I recall fireflies.
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Old 12-08-2018, 10:48 PM
611 posts, read 206,849 times
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Originally Posted by Mr5150 View Post
Where I live, too many deer and turkeys are a problem. There has been no decline of the natural wolrd in CA.

Dang liberals and high taxes are to blame!
The decline in CAchas been a decline of common sense.
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Old 12-09-2018, 05:54 AM
1,780 posts, read 2,165,313 times
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Originally Posted by greatblueheron View Post
This is true....

.... I chose to live in a rural location, still see frogs, rabbits, deer, bear. You make a decision what's important to you.

Suburbs are likely seeing decline because of destroyed habitat. Sad...

James Howard Kuntsler (author) points out that suburbs often are named for the very thing that they destroyed: "Deer Field Acres" or "Quail Ridge Estates" or "Apple Orchard Grove."
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