There was a very slight tickle on the skin about an inch above my wristwatch. I glanced at the left arm and noticed the mosquito dining on my lifeblood. I studied the little creature for a few moments then flicked her off of me. Apparently, I missed that part of the skin while applying insect repellent earlier in the morning.
Mosquitoes tend to congregate on the cooler, north side of my house. They are attracted to the white siding panels for some reason. The males don’t bother me; only the females. Science backs up my assessment. Female mosquitoes are the blood suckers of the species.
If the tiny critters didn’t cause welts and itchiness, I would have allowed the tiny mosquito to finish her meal simply because it would be slightly masochistic and fascinating to do so. Otherwise, like most of us, I’m averse to those pesky, little vampires.
It was time to take a breather from raking the yard, so I sat on the porch step to relax for a few minutes. As I pondered the encounter with the mosquito, I remembered that an expert who was interviewed a few years ago on the radio, commented that if we killed all of the world’s insects that the rest of us land-dwelling plants and animals, would cease to live within the span of a few years or so. Trees would live a bit longer, the foraging and scavenging creatures would outlive humans.
As I thought about such a scenario, I felt another tickle on my left arm. A black ant had found her way up my leg and had been investigating my skin. Black ants are rather benign insects, so I observed her articulated movements. Again, it’s the female gender that dominates in their world. Male ants exist only to help propagate the species. I’ve heard that ants are the Earth’s most dominant insects. Anyway, I watched the ant as she explored my arm. Eventually, she tripped over a hair and fell to the ground. She was unfazed from the incredible fall and continued walking on the concrete sidewalk.
Other than several annoying flies and gnats, there was one more dramatic incident during my work break. A wasp decided to investigate my right shoe. I remained perfectly still and tried to act as calm as possible because some wasps interpret movement as a threat. I don’t know many facts about wasps, so maybe the wasp was another female. Perhaps both genders can sting. I’ll have to read up on them when I’m not busy–if I remember to do so.
As much as I like getting in touch with nature, I have a love/hate relationship with insects. There are some beautiful varieties and some frightful species. Insects dominate the animal biomass of the planet. They are also one of the reasons why I dislike summer and prefer winter. Winter’s freezing temperatures eliminate the outdoor insects, temporarily.
The wasp lingered awhile longer. It landed on my other shoe and crawled around while flitting its wings. It remained in place for perhaps a minute, then flew away. That’s when I decided to return to my tasks.