So far, ours has been a good summer, weather-wise. Like last summer, it has been cooler than average and wetter than average, making for very comfortable conditions for humans, like myself. For mosquitoes, it has been an excellent summer! Even though London is not an especially active area for mosquito activity, we have our share.
I was on the patio this evening. Slowly sucking back a Miller Genuine Draft beer after having watered my garden flowers, when I spied a tiny insect body, way across the patio from me, flying in its mosquito-like way, bouncing along a board on the fence opposite me. “What would it want with a board?” I thought.
“It must be a juvenile,” I thought, “freshly hatched from some nearby pool of stagnant water. Or a male! It could be a male. It’s bouncing its idiot way along a board, when here I sit quietly awaiting the first bite that will drive me indoors.”
Males do not bite, and juveniles are too stupid to bite. Well, there is no need really, not until the reproduction process requires the iron-rich, nutrient-rich blood of some mammal to fuel the growth and viability of the lady-mosquito’s eggs, her evil spawn. Then she bites.
Still, although it is not biting me, I do not wish this mosquito well. I wish it to meet its demise tonight in the eager mouth of a swallow or a martin or a bat. Feed the birds, mosquito! Feed the bats! That is your very best calling.
Then I wonder. (As I am apt to follow a sometimes foolish line of wonderment.) Do swallows, purple martins and bats, having feasted upon mosquitoes, whose abdomens are swollen with mammalian blood, do those bats and birds thereafter crave our blood? Are we all just big sacks of temptation for the bats and birds? Should we expect some day that bats and birds will get fed up with working so hard to get tiny little drops of blood from hard-to-capture mosquitoes and begin to target us instead? Or is our skin an adequate barrier to detection, or is our smell an offensive enough foil to prevent any such avian attack?
The mosquito whines as it bops its way along and against the fence.
Doesn’t it know I’m here? Can’t it smell my exhalations? Isn’t it like the zombies, of whom I’ve seen too many, who can smell brains and will follow that smell even unto their own doom?
Another mosquito appears. This one is closer to me. Not landing, not attacking, but bouncing its stupid nose off a nearby object, trying to get me to believe that it is not really interested in me.
“Just shopping!” it seems to say. “Don’t worry about me!” it indicates with its bouncy nonchalance. “Just go about your business, and I’ll let you know if I need any help,” it says. But fear and hate have entered my blood stream and the smell of it stirs them to action. “Incoming!” they suddenly and exuberantly shout to one another, but they don’t mean ‘incoming’ to them, they mean ‘incoming’ to me! They might as well be shouting, “Banzai! Banzai! Banzai!” or “Tora! Tora! Tora!” as they buzz in with pre-conceived victory in their hearts and minds.
I take my beer and go inside. Let the silly buggers bounce their way across my protective screen until they drop from exhaustion and die, or fly off in frustration and get ‘swallowed.’ Ha-ha! ‘Swallowed!’ Good one.
Tonight, I remain unbitten. Tonight, I win!