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The Weather Network
May. 8, 2021 | Saturday
Editorials and Opinions
Letter: For U.K. visitor and son with autism, bird cannons unbearable

Dear editor: 

As a regular visitor from England to the Niagara area, I have seen huge changes to the landscape – vineyards on an industrial scale.

The beautiful orchards along my familiar route have been replaced by featureless rows of grapevines. Of course, you can’t stop “progress” but I’m nostalgic for the region’s previous serenity.

However, I do not lament this as much as I lament the introduction of propane cannons by grape growers to scare birds. The explosions have materially altered my experience of the area.

On my visits each year, the assaults to my body are increasing to a point that it is now with trepidation and hesitation that I return to the area for my summer vacation. It has become prohibitive and a terrible loss to me.

I seriously cannot comprehend how the practice of blowing people out of their skins is allowed to perpetuate. It’s like sitting in a firing range against my will.

The blasts are sudden and unpredictable. They stun me. My heart skips. My ears ring. Speech and thought stops.

Bodies have a natural reaction to stimulus such as an explosion, a huge shot of adrenalin to respond to perceived threat/danger. Should I be subjected to a state of panic/danger repeatedly during my visit?

After an adrenalin rush, the body can take up to an hour to return to normal. But before that happens, another explosion. Law makers and victims should research the extensive physiological changes that happen to the human body as a result of just one explosion, let alone many. After two weeks in the St. Davids area during the summer it’s difficult to say I had a lovely time.

But an even more disappointing and grievous aspect is that my son, on the autism spectrum, can no longer tolerate the scourge of the explosions. Their pervasive and increasing usage makes visiting his familiar places impossible.

He is seriously affected by the shock of the explosions, because they are truly shocking, to a point that he cannot go to the area at a time suitable for him –summer. Which now means never. This, too, is a serious loss.

Needless to say, these physical assaults are outrageous. As visitors, surely we are entitled to expect a safe and peaceful time. But what’s being done to the residents daily is deplorable.

Diana Westwood
Stourbridge, West Midlands