Once upon a time, some 80 million years ago, the center of the continent we now call North America was a shallow seaway. Its waters were relatively warm, and algae and other plants were busy extracting large amounts of calcium from the water.
The native shrub called bladdernut apparently used to be quite common around here based on reference to it in early literature. But a couple of decades ago, when I went looking for it in what should have been its favorite haunts, I couldn’t find any.
In 1952, British author Daphne du Maurier released a macabre story titled, “The Birds.” The tale was about ordinary birds collectively abandoning their traditional role in nature and shifting their focus to killing off humans.
Dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane, most commonly known as DDT, became manufacturable in commercial quantities during WWII and quickly became the military insecticide of choice for everything from mosquitoes to bedbugs.