Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Summer insects

The dreaded three H’s—hazy, hot and humid—have taken up residence on Roundtop. By my reckoning, they have already worn out their welcome. I’m the kind of person who would be willing to put up with 90 degree temperatures if they lasted just one day out of the year. As we have already passed that milestone this summer, I am now officially ready for winter to begin again.

I understand that I am probably in the minority with that desire, at least in this area. Although Pennsylvania usually boasts a full four seasons, most residents seem to prefer the hotter ones. Of course, I live at a ski resort, so I know I’m not the only person who likes cold weather. We may be in the minority, but at least I’m not a minority of one.

Hot weather comes with more insects, the good kind and the not-good kind. Specifically, I’m thinking of lightning bugs and mosquitoes. Who doesn’t love lightning bugs? When I was a kid one of the joys of a summer evening at grandma’s were our nightly expeditions out in the yard, armed with a jelly jar with holes poked into the lid. While the grownups chatted inside or on the front porch, all the kids and cousins roamed the yard catching lightning bugs, seeing who could capture the most. This year, I have plenty of lightning bugs around the cabin, though most of them seem to be in the upper reaches of the forest canopy. I’d have a tough time catching many of them. Is this because I live in the woods or have lightning bugs decided they prefer a higher altitude these days?

Mosquitoes are not a well-loved insect, with good reason. I have about 8 good reasons why I don’t like them scattered on my legs right now. I know that bats love them, and I like bats, so I try to be tolerant, but it’s a tolerance accompanied by gritted teeth.

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