Silent Summer; Nature Gone Missing; Addendum
Where are the hummingbirds, now few to none? Are we somehow reverberating a Rachel Carson echo, a Silent Summer?
A Fukushima cloud of unknowing?
Hummers usually flock to the high desert and Rocky Mountains, hovering in a whir of wings, slipping long tiny beak and tongue into nectar spurs of wild columbine, the tubular throats of scarlet penstemon, and fuchsia and crimson cactus blossom.
I planted a paradise of flowers for them. Hummingbirds, MIA. This happened before the Los Alamos fires.
I've taken down the feeder. Friends report their feeders remaining full, instead of having to refill several each day, the norm.
And where are the migrating monarch butterflies, now that fragrant milkweed is in bloom?
Last summer, living in a tent, I walked in the cool of the morning along the river. Pink milkweed flooded the canyon with exotic fragrance, in a nimbus of flutterbys. Now none.
It was morning, and it was evening. What bodes this new day?
"...Dr. Dave DeSante, founder of the Institute for Bird Population in Point Reyes, California has explained scientific findings on the relationship between Fukushima fallout on the U.S. West Coast...
"After Chernobyl's radioactive cloud over the U.S. West Coast spring of 1986, Dr. DeSante's research uncovered severe die-off of young birds. Later, researchers Gould and Goldman duplicated Dr. DeSante's results using human mortality data from both U.S. and Germany. They found that the "young, the old, and those with weak immune systems were the main casualties...
"His findings included a 63-64% decrease in all bird species during the period that Chernobyl iodine fell in the United States...
Related to depopulation, Dr. DeSante states, "In a simplistic sense, if more than 875 million warblers die, populations will decline."