Hug for Gretchen
SHOO LOWLY MOSQUITO! GET OUTTA HERE!
I yelling so loud that if my neighbors were home they would have evicted me from the community.
This normally calm, cool, collected, eclectic, friendly woman, me, was waving her arms, glaring, and shouting venom at….
Such a small creature. How could it rile me up so?
After a couple of hours of de-brushing our overgrown scrubbrush and being attacked by a zillion tiny black bugs my patience had waned. And now this pesky mosquito was after me.
I must wonder if the mosquito is after me because she’ was hungry for blood or she was jealous that I can enjoy my favorite meals on occasion, or at least when I’m not too lazy to prepare them.
Why is she jealous? the blood intake (she cherishes) to provide egg nourishment, which we all associate with female mosquitoes, “is actually something that the vast majority of female mosquitoes will never enjoy.” Only a few species are able to feed on human blood, and many of those that do are able to turn readily to birds and mammals.*
This ever persistent creature is deemed unwanted, unloved, undesirable by me.
Yet John Farley, author of Despised Source of Whining and Worse*, hopes his book “will lead (readers) to respect and, perhaps, admire the mosquito as something more than just a pest of vector of disease.”
To persuade us he raises up the mosquitoes special abilities: Posed against an enormously dangerous environment, this seemingly simple organism thrives. Everything about its design is economical and precise. And even though it is incapable of thought, it manages to meet great challenges, adapting to our use of pesticides, the loss of habitat, even climate change. Charles Darwin would have been amazed…
Shouldn’t one respect and admire such a creature?
Yet how can one respect and admire a creature so self-centered that Everything she does is self-serving, neither aerating the soil nor pollinating plants. “She has no ‘purpose’ other than to perpetuate her species.” ?
Yes, it is difficult to love the mosquito. Sorry, Mr. Farley. I think you chose a strange object of affection.
Perhaps you should move to Alaska. I’m certain researcher Jesse Krause will welcome you to work with him on the North Slope of Brooks Range in Alaska. The mosquito is so appreciated in that state that it is designated as the state bird.**
Yes, I know the mosquito is not a bird. It is an insect.
The Alaskans know this too. But what else can a person do but joke about mosquitoes that get so thick hikers have been known to walk while swatting them away with branches from a tree.
The presence of swarms are particularly good (I mean, bad) on Brooks Range. A video, http://www.grindtv.com/outdoor/nature/post/worst-swarm-of-alaskan-mosquitoes-ever/ , will verify that “The whole horizon is nothing but mosquitoes.”
Yet Krause, a Ph.D. student at the University of California, Davis, has spent the last four summers working at Brooks Range. He acknowledges that while living in a cloud of mosquitoes he wears meshed head nets and other protective clothing, and appl(ies) plenty of insect repellent.
As for me and my family, we will bequeath Mr. Krause and Mr. Farley all my mosquitoes. I only wish I could blast them off to them while I am still living.
SWAT! Darn, he got away.
Why doesn’t she just fly to where she’s wanted? I’m certain Mr. Krause and Mr. Farley will welcome her.
And I will stick to cartoon creatures, particularly Cochran Cornell the Cantankerous Cockroach, my special cartoon creation.
*Science Vol 293 21 Sept. 2001 pp 2211