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My entourage June 26, 2013

Posted by stinawp in Uncategorized.
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June 5, 2013

When I went out looking for caterpillars this morning, by the time I made it to the trailhead, I had my own personal swarm of mosquitoes. I have to admit I couldn’t keep track of when mosquitoes came and went, but other than the occasional mosquito-filled damp hollow I stumbled into, it seemed like they pretty much followed me—the only large mammal in sight—around.

By the time I made it out of the forest and down to the road, I had mosquito bites in some new and interesting places (lips, palms, scalp), and I was pretty sure my last words would be “I should have bought the 98% DEET*!” I expected the road to be even worse, since it’s closer to the wetland, but it wasn’t. This was because my mosquito swarm got its own entourage—one of very hungry green dragonflies. There were usually at least five zooming around and nabbing mosquitoes out of the air. After a while, I began to recognize exactly when a mosquito was caught. The constant low hum of dragonfly wingbeats would turn into a staccato clatter, accompanying the sight of a dragonfly stalling and dropping slightly in its flight. Then the dragonfly would leave the melee to find a perch and devour its prey.

* For those who are wondering: The reason (temporarily forgotten) that I didn’t get 98% DEET is because that’s the stuff that’s so strong it melts plastic.

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