Meet-ups past and future

Donna Halper
Mon Jun 23 15:01:52 EDT 2008

At 02:45 PM 6/23/2008, Chuck Igo wrote:
>Donna -
>   the black flies are in "Maine."  we here in the Portland area are 
> in what Bob Marley calls "fancy Maine."  we have running water and 
> the most up-to-date farmer's almanac hangin' by the little 
> holey-thing they put in those critters for just such a reason, ayuh.

Wow, really?  Electricity has come to Portland?  You mean there's 
radio stations there too?????  :-P   Seriously, I adore Portland and 
go there often.  That's why the Boston Globe story was so amusing to me.

Black flies surge in Maine's clean rivers

Citing environment's gain, state declines to curb the biting bugs

By Beth Daley, Boston Globe Staff  |  June 23, 2008

MILLINOCKET, Maine - Mainers call the black fly the state bird.

Residents and tourists have long steeled themselves against the 
flies' annual warm-weather onslaught, sometimes duct-taping pant legs 
and wearing screened hoods to keep the deceptively small bugs from 
delivering bloody bites or crawling into seemingly every body crevice.

But there are now more black flies in more places in Maine, and the 
reason may be surprising: It's the success of the environmental movement.

Many species of the gnat-sized insects are sticklers for cleanliness. 
When Maine's rivers were filled with contaminants from paper mills 
and other industries, only the hardiest black flies laid eggs in 
them. Now, rivers and streams are progressively cleaner, providing 
ideal breeding grounds for the annoying pests.

It's an unintended barometer of good ecological health, but Maine 
officials are adamant they will not mess with nature in any way to 
provide relief.

"They can be so thick you breathe them in and they get stuck in your 
throat. They even get under your eyelids," said Julia Brilliott, an 
Eastport resident who showed off four lumpy red welts on the back of 
her neck after climbing Mount Katahdin in Baxter State Park last week. [snip]

rest of article 

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