Pat Shingleton: "Toads, Spiders and Snakes and a Perfect Storm"
Wildlife and Weather’s Halloween edition reported that in some locations of the United States, toads, spiders and snakes will begin their underground migration. Toads might be a key ingredient in witches’ brew but a healthy toad population is a good sign of low pollution in your backyard. Spiders might be scary Thursday night but are beneficial predators of numerous insects. The venomous species are the black widow, the brown recluse and the hobo. You may hear the howl of a wolf this week and the gray wolves are needed predators in balancing the ecosystem. They control deer and other prey populations such as coyotes and raccoons. Finally, a slithering snake is scary but is enormously beneficial to control insects and rodent pests. On October 28, 1991, a devastating storm formed in the Atlantic. Referred to as the Halloween Storm, 45 mph winds lashed the North Carolina coast for five days. Hurricane-force winds pounded New England and New Jersey was hit with the highest tides since the Great Atlantic Hurricane of '44. This storm was the basis for the novel "The Perfect Storm," and the sinking of the Andrea Gail. It was called "perfect" because of the events that resulted in the storm. An extra-tropical cyclone developed along a cold front and with upper air support, Hurricane Grace made a hairpin turn to the east led to treacherous sea conditions over the western Atlantic.
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