OSU image

OSU image

When clients from out of state recently inquired about a termite inspection for their new nirvana, I replied, “Pffft.” Then I thought perhaps I should read up on that. Climate change… changes things.

Historically, Maine has been protected by the translucent ant-wannabes by our deep freezing temperatures. Southern Maine has rare occurrences of termites, but they lack staying power.

If this winter is any indication of what climate change does to a jet stream, there will never be another termite in Maine, ever again. Ever. And this guy says that even if someone imports termites, and a colony takes root, that colony should remain isolated: Termites don’t have time to raise a special “go forth and colonize” generation without a long, humid summer. They’ve tried it in Toronto, and failed. The colonizing generation needs wings; the wings won’t grow in Toronto.

So for now, termites are an exotic rarity. Yet another dazzling benefit of our brief, short, and truncated summers.

And if the jet stream does relent, and we do get termites, I would hope that we also get armadillos to eat them. That only seems fair.




Zillow & U.S. Census Bureau

Zillow & U.S. Census Bureau

There’s a house shortage, if you haven’t heard. Caravans of mournful buyers are circling Southern Maine waiting for a chance to dash into a newly listed house and make a rash offer above asking price. It’s like musical chairs but much less fun. Why aren’t there more houses for sale? Where did all the houses go?


Zillow & U.S. Census Bureau

They’re right where we left them, says this report from the Federal Reserve. But they’re only available to renters. They’ve entered the “rental inventory.”

When the housing bubble burst (thanx, banx) oodles of foreclosed homes flooded the market. Mannnnny of these bargains were bought by the only folks who could round up credit or cash: Investors. Now they’re in use, but not in circulation.

Check out the trend lines: The housing market dwindles; the rental market swells.


This Pecha Kucha presentation was so much fun. I learned one million things, and gained an even greater affection for this pragmatic place called Portland, Maine. Six minute video. 13,000 years of history. You can’t get much more value than that.

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