There is something biblical about this report:
The mice arrived to supply entertainment to the birds.
I haven’t seen Paula, from Woolangong, since 1979; with all these bugs and shit, could somebody local check that she is ok?
Sadly - for the WaPo - ‘the worst bushfires ever recorded’ are not the worst bushfires ever recorded.
Oh, and bushfires are actually good and necessary for the healthy growth of vegetation. We have fewer now than when Captain Cook first charted the east coast noting incessant and widespread bushfires along that huge length of coast - lit by Aborigines. He was never out of sight of fires on the coast. We need more bushfires but cooler and less intense than these conflagrations inflicted on us by environmentalists opposed to human forest management.
Lots of other propaganda in that article but there’s certainly a plague of mice, not the first and not the last.
And now a verse from an apposite poem from Dorothea Mackeller.
I love a sunburnt country,
A land of sweeping plains,
Of ragged mountain ranges,
Of droughts and flooding rains.
I love her far horizons,
I love her jewel-sea,
Her beauty and her terror -
The wide brown land for me!
What goes around comes around:
In the US mid-Atlantic, we are days away from a plague of
locusts cicadas. Annoying AF, but mostly harmless.
Not really. Because the vegetation that grows back after a bushfire is more sparse: the bushes grow further apart and more of the top soil gets fried in the sun, killing the mycelium and other life that supports the growth of plants. This engineers an environment where only certain plants with specific characteristics can grow, in detriment of diversity.
The current rodent infestation in many places is due to unwarranted application of chemicals that kill the diversity that keeps the mice under control, like raptors and snakes.
Nope. Bushfires, especially cool fires deliberately lit, clear away the ground litter, reduce the risk and severity of catastrophic fires and encourage full regrowth. All Australia’s forests have burnt many times and still grow with full ‘diversity’, including animals.
And I don’t accept that ‘chemicals’ cause mice infestations. They too are cyclical.
“Cause and effect is seldom a simple chain but a mesh extending infinitely in all directions.”
I think your idea of what bushfires achieve is due to being socially conditioned to think they are always beneficial, when in fact, they need to be avoided. Bushfires send more carbon into the atmosphere directly.
And no, Australia’s forests are not growing with full diversity. The species that rely on fire to grow more and faster take the lead and drown out the others.
To really control the infestation of mice, you need to know the weakness in the species life cycle. Scorched earth isn’t going to affect the mice who can outrun the fire to find shelter in human settlements. Humans provide mountains of hay to build whole mice megacities…