When I was a kid, I remember seeing clouds of them in the school field when we went out to play. There used to be so many that they would cover your windshield. For the last few years I have hardly seen any around. Today, I only saw a single solitary bug lazily flying through the air.

I suspect the rapidly changing climate is the cause but, I guess I feel a bit of shock at realizing and reflecting on the fact that this is happening right at home.

  • queermunist she/her@lemmy.ml
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    3 months ago

    Insect populations have plummeted. It’s not just climate change but widespread and unlimited use of pesticides, the modern world is quite hostile to bugs. 😟

  • Beaver [he/him]@hexbear.net
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    3 months ago

    We’re terraforming our entire biosphere so that the only thing it supports are domesticated animals and crops. Even if you ignore all the unintended consequences of that, the intended consequences are: we are destroying almost all the food and shelter required for wild creatures to survive on earth. Wild bugs, animals, and plants literally only survive because there still exist small random patches of land that were not economical to develop, and they cling to life on them. Everywhere else on earth is a wasteland, re-shaped by these unfathomable beings that taken over and imposed their will on the very land and air.

    • Beaver [he/him]@hexbear.net
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      3 months ago

      I remember one day passing by a group of geese wandering through a walmart parking lot. Me and them just stood there and looked at each other, and I imagined that we had swapped places. What if we were just people living in the world, and these absolutely unfathomable advanced alien entities came to earth and just started reshaping everything, leaving us wild humans to live on the fringes of still unchanged land that the aliens had for some unknown reason not converted yet to their own environment? Imagine being a human wandering through the landscape of the Changed Zone, reshaped into forms that you can’t even understand, but with are anathema to human existence. And then imagine that you stumble upon one of these alien entities, and are trying to understand it, to communicate with it… but receiving no answer, not because they couldn’t, but because they just don’t care about you at all. The goose doesn’t have that level of understanding, of course, but that’s the experience they were going through. Nature is cruel, but what people are doing to it is one of the most evil crimes in history.

      • rubpoll [she/her]@hexbear.net
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        3 months ago

        That’s what The Labyrinth by Simon Stalenhag is about. Black orbs just show up on Earth one day and start pumping the atmosphere full of ammonia gas. Humanity has mere decades before the air becomes completely unbreathable and nothing we fire at the orbs has any effect on them.

      • KobaCumTribute [she/her]@hexbear.net
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        3 months ago

        Reminds me of the core themes of A Roadside Picnic, which draws a parallel between the horrifying causality-breaking bullshit in The Zone and the aftermath of a family stopping for a picnic on the side of the road and leaving trash and leftover food everywhere, which must seem similarly alien to the wildlife.

    • Red_Sunshine_Over_Florida [he/him]@hexbear.netOP
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      3 months ago

      I understand that part in a general sense, though it is overwhelming to think of the scale of all the processes you described, and makes them in a sense invisible to many people. I guess seeing a symptom of it right in front of me makes it a more real to me.

      • Beaver [he/him]@hexbear.net
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        3 months ago

        It’s tough to internalize these things, even if intellectually you might be aware of them. One shocking moment might put everything you knew into perspective… but there’s no guarantee that you’ll have that moment.

        I think a similar thing happens with liberal’s support of the genocide in Gaza: if they saw it with their own eyes, there’s a good chance that they might do a 180 and stop supporting Israel. They maybe already had all the information, but having it rubbed in your face is what it takes to really internalize it.

        Another example: it’s well known among even most of the general public that Miami is going to be underwater eventually. But some of those people, the young ones, are going to have this experience decades from now, where they’re standing on the shoreline looking at the ruins of a submerged city, and think “goddamn, I knew it was going to happen, but it hits different when you’re standing here looking at this city that’s juat gone”. It’s something that doesn’t seem real… until it seems very real, and you’re surprised by how it snuck up on you.

        • Red_Sunshine_Over_Florida [he/him]@hexbear.netOP
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          3 months ago

          I guess that on reflection, a good part of the shock comes from realizing only a year ago that these processes are happening right now on a accelerated time table. What people had been told over the last fifteen years was that this was a process that would unfold over the course of the 21st century, of which I could expect to see half of it over my lifetime. What is sinkIng in is that these processes will occur rapidly over my lifetime and the world will be a profoundly different place than when I was growing up at the start of this century.

          It brings about a fear of the uncertain which at times I find myself comparing to the fear felt by those generations that lived through the last great crisis of capitalism in the 20th century. I suppose that is what it is at the end of the day, and if I were a historian of any kind, I might consider with appropriate foresight naming this period the Crisis of the 21st Century.

  • Zoift [he/him]@hexbear.net
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    3 months ago

    The climate, and also all the habitat & topsoil loss, and pesticide washoff, and the microplastics, and the invasive predators, plants, and diseases. Can’t have a mass extiction by just cracking one egg.

    • Red_Sunshine_Over_Florida [he/him]@hexbear.netOP
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      3 months ago

      It’s so strange seeing it happen in real time. I’m now in a similar position to the Americans who asked over a century and a half ago, “Where did the big flocks of Passenger Pigeons go?” History, something I always read about and associated with print in books, is happening right in front of me in my locality, and is unfolding in a negative trajectory. I feel silently horrified by it.

  • Grebgreb [he/him]@hexbear.net
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    3 months ago

    All of the bugs are mostly gone, fireflies have completely disappeared. I barely even see flies anymore even though just three years ago one would randomly get stuck in my room at least once a month.

    • Red_Sunshine_Over_Florida [he/him]@hexbear.netOP
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      3 months ago

      I wish I could have seen fireflies, that and snowfall. I guess the closest I got to the idealized image of a field full of fireflies at night was going through a field full of Lovebugs. These things will just become stories to tell future generations because they will never get to see it for themselves.

      • JoeByeThen [he/him, they/them]@hexbear.net
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        3 months ago

        If you’re near there, I was in Kissimmee Prairie Preserve over by Lake Okeechobee a couple summers back and saw fireflies in Florida for like the first time in 20 something years.🤞

          • JoeByeThen [he/him, they/them]@hexbear.net
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            3 months ago

            Tbh, the preserve is pretty plain, but there’s plenty of wildlife and it’s a Dark site. This was posted on one of the boards.😅

            So if you have a decent camera and go during a new moon with few clouds in the summer, you can get some pretty good shots of the milky way. But, beware of the wildlife. I was taking photos at like 1am on the side of a trail and had to book it out of there because a pack of boars started to circle around my location. It was pretty exciting. data-laughing

            Beautiful view tho. I’d definitely like to get back there with some better equipment and try again.

            • Red_Sunshine_Over_Florida [he/him]@hexbear.netOP
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              3 months ago

              I’ve never seen stars like that in my area. I didn’t think it was possible anywhere in Florida, and only associated views like that with less densely populated areas like New Mexico. It’s beautiful to see.

              • JoeByeThen [he/him, they/them]@hexbear.net
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                3 months ago

                Bear in mind, that’s with a shutter speed of like 10 seconds or so. But on a night with no moon and your eyes adjusted, it’s still quite a sight. I’d really like to get back out there for a meteor shower. I bet that’d be amazing.

      • TechnoUnionTypeBeat [he/him, they/them]@hexbear.net
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        3 months ago

        One of the grimmest comments I’ve ever read, I’m sorry comrade

        I have vivid memories of seeing fireflies off the back deck floating over wheat fields all summer long. It was magical, and the fact it’s been stolen from younger generations is inexcusable

        • Red_Sunshine_Over_Florida [he/him]@hexbear.netOP
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          3 months ago

          Thank you. I appreciate your sympathy.

          Honestly, seeing that solitary Lovebug today made me immediately think of that popular animated video on the last Kauai O’o calling out in vain. I was wondering if we have reached that moment yet but, with a species of insect in this case.

  • RION [she/her]@hexbear.net
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    3 months ago

    yeah it’s hard out there for the bugs. interested to see what the 17 year cicadas are like this year - if there’s a lot less of them it’ll be less of a headache for a few weeks but very worrying ecologically aware

  • Dolores [love/loves]@hexbear.net
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    3 months ago

    they migrated to the southern US in the 20th century, apparently? wikipedia article seems to believe reductions in pest flights are because fungis that control them in their native range caught up. i wonder if people purposely tried to remediate them as well, beyond the general biome destruction, they damaged cars and yankees hate that

  • Hexbear2 [any]@hexbear.net
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    3 months ago

    When I was young, boxelder bugs used to come stick to the houses in the fall seeking a warm spot–hundreds of them. Haven’t seen them in over 20 years. Also, used to have tons of milkweed, grasshoppers of all species, crickets and other insects all night long, and butterflies and bees galore.

    Now it seems, all we have is mosquitos and flies.

    When I retire, I’m moving North so I can try to live in a similar climate as my youth, maybe eastern Montana or western North Dakota.