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Right here and right now in Decatur, Mother Nature's ominous trajectory toward ecological catastrophe is on frightening display for all to see, that is, if we care to look. More likely, we will choose the fleeting "comfort" of self-imposed ignorance by simply dismissing the anecdotal evidence presented to our eyes, or by simply refusing to Google well-documented scientific research of disappearing insects. Even so, we necessarily ignore this evidence at the tragic expense of the next generation of children.

Speaking of children, as a child I distinctly remember fun times at Garfield Park playing circle ball and tetherball with friends during 1950's endless summer days. On Tuesday evenings, we watch free movies at the park, high-tech projecting from the bed of a pickup truck.

Interestingly enough, I also recollect grownups incessantly complaining about summertime's annoying insect pests. Of course, I was much too young to appreciate insect biomass as a natural and necessary staple of Mother Nature's high summer ecology, but nonetheless the memory was planted, I assume, for future reference. 

However, like all kids across America, I wasn't too young to appreciate summertime slices of ice cold watermelon or the familiar jingle of the Mister Softee ice cream truck. And just like every generation of American children, I naturally presumed a future worth living. 

But times and seasons have suddenly changed: this 2018 August is not our grandfather's August, not even close. Today, the incomprehensible voice of summer insects is surreally suggestive of January's dead of winter. Do I exaggerate? If you're willing to search long and hard for an ant or gnat or housefly or grasshopper or butterfly or honeybee or spider or any other creepy crawly just to prove me wrong, have at it. Sooner or later Jiminy Cricket will cross your path, but not before my point is woefully proven.

Don Carmichael, Decatur

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