If you think the weather has been strange this
year, consider nothing more than the crop of insects . . . especially mosquitoes.
I have noted a dearth of all insects this year, and so it has been with
many of my friends.
That the weather has been strange since last spring
when the meteorologist threw us a curve ball on the mushroom season was
reason enough to look with jaundiced eye on the weather of late. But the
drought this summer has thrown another log on the fire, and now the monsoon
season has deluged us but too late for many farm crops.
There will be some field corn and soybeans this
year--the latter will undoubtedly do better. But while the Agricultural
statistics folks tell me the corn in states on both our flanks appears
to be having a bumper production year, the crop in central counties of
Indiana were more adversely affected by the drought. Consequently, wildlife
could be more adversely affected than we realize. Fall and winter food
supplies for many birds and animals generally are thought to hinge on the
nuts, acorns and seeds produced by Mother Nature, but when you get to the
crux of the food situation field corn and soybean spills offer vast food
supplies, especially in the early going.
For example, one time a few years back while talking
about wildlife conservation with a Scott County farmer, I casually asked
what my farm friend was doing along those lines. He didn’t bat an eye,
but regaled me with the fact that his combine was the best friend of wildlife.
“Spillage is tremendous,” he told me, pointing
out that the machine left a lot of grain on turns (at both ends of the
field), but in following the rows, too.
Next time out I checked his combine theory and
found it to be very true. But then he tacked on some gems about spillage
in transportation from field to crib and the farm took on a completely
new view. Of course, much of the spillage grain does not carry over well
into winter, but it keeps birds and animals well fed into the fall.
Getting back to those skeeters, my wanderings
have never encountered fewer of them. Take, for example, my own house on
White River’s West Fork in Hamilton County. The river, incidentally, is
moving water and does not offer a breeding range for mosquitoes. I do,
however, have a front yard jungle of more than an acre and it usually spawns
enough of the bloodsuckers to make us miserable outside during most of
the warmer months. Not so this year.
But the good word, thanks to the drought, is that
I have heard two or three mosquitoes all summer. I can be out in short
sleeves--or bare to the waist--even now.
The scarcity of mosquitoes is just about as pronounced
in the other woodlands of the state. Boil it down to its simplest terms,
and you will find that the parts of the state that have good crop production
also have good (?) hordes of mosquitoes.
Department of Natiural Resources sends word that Goose Pond FWA Manager
Brad Feaster will hold an informative meeting August 30 at 7 p.m. at the
Triple H Gun Club south of Linton on hunting procedures this year.
Feaster will explain 2007-08 hunting season procedures
at the 8,000-acre DNR property. He will also update the public on Goose
Pond's wetland restoration, as well as answer general questions and listen
"We are trying an adaptive management approach
to allocating hunting opportunities at Goose Pond FWA," said Feaster. "We
hope to develop better hunting experiences."
Goose Pond FWA is between the towns of Linton
and Sandborn. The Triple H Gun Club is several miles south of Linton on
State Route 59.