Winter ticks and leaf beetles

There are many heartbreaking things about being alive at this time in history, experiencing the incredibly rapidly changing climate and the 6th mass extinction. One critter that's spreading rather than taking the exit is the winter tick, a parasite that can cause severe hair loss in moose and even death due to blood loss if a moose is extremely impacted. There used to be no winter ticks this far north. I'd never seen a moose like this cow just past our place, only in pictures.

Not only the moose was suffering from parasites. After two summers of extreme aphid infestations, the aspen in our area saw a severe outbreak of leaf beetles this spring.

Their larvae denuded entire trees and seem to have killed numerous poplar saplings by eating all of the leaves. Big black lumps of congregating larvae hung on the denuded branches as a new generation of beetles hatched.

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