There is that time when summer finally shuts its gilded door. And the shadow of it, falling heavily against the memory of warmth and light makes an impact – louder, in the silence of it, than it’s final closing thud.
That time when clinging tender greens are found upon a morning, studded with a coat of diamonds – icy daggers. Death, I think, should always have such poetic beauty.
That time when the green song of the earth decrescendos towards stillness.
This is the time when you go down to the shoreline at Utah lake, and it is remarkably silent, despite the regular staccato squabbling of gulls and the familiar lullaby of the lapping water. The spaces between the melody of these is suddenly pronounced.
You think, at first, it is strange and wonder what notes are missing from the chorus. And then it dawns. Gone is the drone of insect wings, the high incessant soprano whine of the tiny Nosferatu.
You know what I am talking about.
The one fanged vampire: Mosquito. Suddenly, his bloodthirsty longing has ceased.
And you for a moment are glad! Soooooo glad.
No more constant swatting, and or stinking of insect spray and still coming home with itchy red mounds that keep you up all night.
But then you remember the delight of the butterfly – madly dancing from bloom to bloom. And the inexplicable happiness of a ladybug sporting a shiny suit of red, pink, yellow, orange.
You find yourself, wishing for the coaxing bumble bee in the thistle, legs beaded with bright pollen – such a sweet promise that will be absent until a far away spring.
And the mosquito, and the midge fly? Too often the two are mistaken.
These, also, belong to the golden world that begins at that vernal awakening where LIFE! is not whispered but shouted. The celebration parties of spring and summer include all such guests, whether we enjoy them or not.
The midge fly…more than a few have I consumed by accident or insect suicide – I do not know.
How they flew up my nose or down my throat? But so they did and I choked them down, a thankless and equally un-thanked for nutrition.
The midge fly at Utah Lake, bite-less despite their resemblance to the tinier, meaner, mosquito, rise in reproductive columns like smoke signals winding up and up as the summer sun sinks low on the horizon. “We are here, and here and here”!
They are ubiquitous at the lake in these months.
People shout, “Mosquito”! and run. All the while baring and flapping dangerous arms at the clouds that seem To hover constantly overhead. It is a territorial war zone of sorts, after-all.
The midge fly continues to hover despite this mistaken exchange of aggression. A few may fall, and many be accidentally or incidentally consumed. Yet undeterred they persist all through the warm days and nights; The stone ever rolling away from the darkness of their watery incubation chamber, and like an army of tiny messiah they continue to rise, winged and ready to ascend.
Mitigation…that’s what they call it when they spray insecticide.
We will control the troublesome populations by population man–ipulation. Disrupt the egg production by spraying larvae, or sterilizing the adult.
Wanted dead, not at all alive for the horrible crime of annoyance.
Destroy the cradle and the grave appears more readily.
Problem solved. Population of midge fly down, population of smiling happy humans at the lakeside up. It’s what we want. Isn’t it?
It’s what we celebrate for just an instant in October or say November, when we at last realize that we can walk without any excessive exorcising of arms?
This is the natural order though, the cold and darkness – a part of natures tool kit.
But the creation of such unseasonable and unnatural graveyards, they tend to take on a life and a death all their own. Just ask the American bison, or the passenger pigeon , the wolves of yellow stone, or the June sucker for that matter.
Ask the turbidity inducing, midge fly larvae eating carp, that were introduced into Utah Lake after non native settlers, depleted natural fish populations.
Ask the cyanobacteria, who in the absence of the pesky midge fly, more readily form poisonous blooms unchecked by sedimentary stabilizing silk tube nets that the midge fly larvae naturally form.
Ask the indigenous peoples of any kind, leafed, feathered furred, scaled or mineral, about the wisdom or folly of population mitigation.
Or, If you don’t speak the language of the wilderness – maybe ask the beautiful bronzed skinned human beings that have lived, and thrived in this place since a time before time.
I can not, and do not attempt here to speak for these peoples.
Perhaps, though, they might only shake their heads and ask back, what is it that we think we understand more or better than the wisdom and balance found in Nature, Herself.