Louisiana is losing a lot of valuable land and resources. Living out here these past months has really been educational for me. Our fragile wetland habitats are being threatened and lost for many different reasons and each area of south Louisiana seems to have its own set of problems and a need for particular solutions. Answers and remedies are not easy, but awareness and efforts are crucial.
The major causes of land loss are a complicated mix! Subsidence, the sinking of the land, and rising sea levels on our earth are reasons. The man made levee systems, built to protect our property have stopped the Mississippi River from building and nourishing of our land. Canals built for shipping goods, transportation, and oil and gas development are causing erosion of land and allowing salt water into large areas of our marsh that used to be fresh. Storms and hurricanes are the most dramatic forces of change on our coast. Barrier islands and marsh stop the storm surges, without them we lose our buffers.
These major troubles and lots of minor issues plague the people at work trying to preserve and rebuild land in coastal Louisiana. Everyday CC and I realize how crucial these efforts are and we are encouraged by the interest of students, for you are Louisiana’s future.
We are enjoying the full glory of spring in the marsh. However, there is one thing in south Louisiana that is not endangered. MOSQUITOES! These pesky insects are eating us up! It is hard to find the good in a “skeeter,” but I did some research! Did you know mosquitoes have been around at least 200 million years? That is lots longer than humans! Today, there are about 3,450 species of these blood suckers and Louisiana has its share!
The evening “attacks” on the WETLAND WANDERER are becoming regular. On our last trip to a store we bought mosquito netting to hang around our bed. We have netted hats but those awful females continue to buzz and bite! Mosquitoes can smell you and the female needs your blood to make her eggs! She can double or even triple her body weight with one meal of blood! The female needs water to lay the nearly 400 eggs in one batch. Being in the “wetlands” means MOSQUITO MADNESS!
Mosquitoes lay eggs in wet places
Mosquitoes can walk on ceilings because they have sticky pads on their feet
Mosquitoes “eat” nectar from flowers and pollinate like bees
Mosquitoes can beat their wings 400 to 600 times per second
If mosquitoes seem to like you more than your friends, it is because you are sweating, breathing hard, or wearing dark clothes………..Blood seekers are drawn to these things
Females need the protein from blood for her eggs
A mosquito’s bite does not hurt because the female has a chemical in her saliva that makes the stab less painful……later the saliva causes an itchy bump and it may also cause a deadly disease
Mosquitoes are one of the deadliest animals of the world because the female can carry disease from person to person
Malaria, Yellow Fever, and West Nile Virus are all spread by the female’s bite
Man or beast, frog or dog south Louisiana or Alaska…….we are all the prey of the mighty mosquito!