I admit that I have said, "Mosquitoes don't bug me," but now I feel the need to amend that statement.
"Mosquitoes, in limited quantities, don't bother me."
The mosquitoes in Nahanni Butte are bad this year. Really bad. So bad, that some people, who have lived here their whole lives, say that they have never, ever seen them this bad. And that's saying a lot.
Bug jackets are the local fashion, with broad-brimmed hats and head nets on top. The local calogne/perfume is Deep Woods Off. The only people who aren't fully buffered against the mosquitoes are the kids, who seem immune to the zippy biters. It might have something to do with the fact that they (the kids) are always zooming around on bicycles and the mosquitoes don't get a chance to bite.
They're enough to drive a sane man crazy and a crazy man sane. So, fortunately, I've got nothing to worry about.
Yesterday, when I was out for a hike, I was swarmed by the little monsters. I have never seen anything like it and now know what true swarming really is. If you haven't experienced it, you don't want to.
Even with all my bug gear (less the bug spray), I lost about a litre of blood. They swarmed in my ears, , bit the red part of my eyes, and flew in my mouth and up my nose. When I made it back to relative safety I blew my nose and nothing but moquitoes came out. There must have been a dozen up there. I am not kidding.
I have a newfound appreciation for the protective properties of nose hair.
I am now covered in little red dots on my neck, shoulders, and around my waist. My shirt has blobs of blood on it, like I was stabbed by an ice pick an hundred times. Those mosquitoes are powerful little beasts.
So what do you do with them? Do they have any use, other than feeding birds and bats?
They have made moose hunting easier for the local hunters because the moose are being driven to the water to escape the buzzing hordes.
The question got the business side of my mind humming. I've decided to try take advantage of the millions of jet fighters. I now have an associate in Nahanni Butte who will be using a Mosquito Magnet to catch and dehydrate the mosquitoes. Then, we'll sell the dried mosquitoes online for gourmands. The advantage of NWT mosquitoes is that they're free of West Nile (and all of those other nasty diseases).
Maybe we'll use the dried mosquitoes to make specialty breads or for mosquito chocolate bars. Are there any dessert chefs out there interested in developing a specialty bar?
I watched "The Nature of Things" today, an episode on honey bees. A random, non-science guy claimed that before bees pollinated our plants for us, it was up to mosquitoes to do this job and that's what they're around for. I'm not so convinced about the veracity of this statement, but it might make some people feel better...
Eek! I think Peter would have DIED!!! I can see him curled up in the fetal position rocking back and forth under his mosquito net and 17 layers of DEET.
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