There aren't any, have you noticed? Well, the odd mosquito at dusk, especially if we leave the screen door open, and yes, there are some dead flies on the floor that I desultorily sweep up.

Oh, Rachel Carson, I think of you. When I was a kid and we went to a lake in northern Saskatchewan in the summers, where my aunt and her four boys had a cottage, they used to come around with DDT machines to spray the mosquitoes, and we thought it was great fun to run through the spray. It was like the ice cream man, we'd holler to all our friends and cousins and run in and out of the (DDT) sprinkler.

No bugs, no birds. In the south of France there are bugs, but no birds, from hunters. Tiny birds, gone. They taste good roasted over an open fire. And the orange berries on the pyrocantha (sp?) don't get eaten. Hunting is a privilege that French peasants (countrymen) gained via a revolution from the nobility, and they aren't going to give it up without a fight--or until all the birds (and now boars) are gone.

I remember once we had our good friends visiting from America, in Provence. We made a picnic and took it to one of our special spots, a place in the hills, with a fountain and water trickling, and in spring (this was in summer, though) a field of wild narcissus. But there were also bugs, and they weren't used to them, and we hadn't thought to bring repellent (citrus oil). Ooh la la!