Wednesday, 1 July 2009

and then there were midges

and the heat rose, and the green, green grass grew tall and
luscious, and the wind blew no more.

and the people of the village brought forth their folding
chairs, their barbecues and their tanning lotion.

and mother nature watched and she was well pleased.
and on the tenth day she brought forth the scottish midges!

aye, village people, though you may have relaxed all
summer long, enjoying beer in the long evening light,
sipping chilled white wine from long stemmed glasses,
chatting with friends and neighbours as the smoke of a
multitude of barbecues rises and fades. things are about
to change

yay verily, though you may plough and plant, shear and milk
and bake the most delicious strawberry and cream tarts.

yay verily, though you may stride my lands and tend my assets
and believe you hold dominion over all my creatures.

yay verily, though you may burn your citronella candles to
the gods of itch.

i have brought forth scottish midges to remind you,
people of the remind you that these insignificant
winged creatures, so small, so silent, so many ...
will cause you to flee the great outdoors ...
slapping and squealing, itching and scratching.

so i say unto you, return to your steaming hot homes,
reconnect with your televisions. venture ye not forth,
until mother nature feels such pity for these poor mortals.
and she causes the winds to rise and the scottish midges
to flee to where ever it may be that scottish midges flee.

the following information is for educational purposes only. the author of this blog denies any responsibility for any ennui experienced by the reader.

The Scottish or Highland Midge, in it’s own right, probably explains why a country as beautiful as Scotland only has a population of some 5 million people. The Highland midge has a notorious reputation for spoiling folks enjoyment of the great outdoors during the summer months.

There are actually a large number of different types of midges in Scotland but Culicoides Impunctatus the Highland or Scottish midge, which is a tiny insect, enjoys a reputation as being the fiercest biting midge.

It reeks havoc across vast tracts of Scotland from May to September. Their nuisance value to the camper, walker, angler etc. is so great that many holiday makers and tourists have been known to pack up and leave within an hour of being attacked. The Scottish Midge is especially prevalent on the West Coast where in the right weather conditions and at certain times, in the early morning or late evening, it becomes impossible to stay outdoors for more than a few seconds.

Some Midge Facts

The Scottish midge has a wingspan of 1.4 mm.
A swarm of midges can deliver approximately 3000 bites an hour.
A female will feed on the skin for up to 4 minutes taking 0.1 microlitres of blood.
A female midge can probably detect you from a range of up to 100 metres.
It is estimated that in the Highlands midge populations can reach densities of 10,000,000 midges per acre in ideal conditions.
Midges have probably only been in Scotland for about 8000 years.


Camlin said...

Ouch - worse than mosquitos.They would drive me crazy. If I ever visit Scotland (it's on my list) I'll have to remember not to visit in the summer.

Anonymous said...

and does ddt work, dear Wolf?

reeflightning said...

i shall execute a research project ...
'midge free summer months'.
i would recommend summer/ late spring. scottish winter's ....aahhh, ummm ...well, 'least said, soonest mended'!

reeflightning said...

ddt my lady? shock, horror! and the poor, wee, dears only taking that which they need to breed....
they do say a dab of vinegar on the bite stops the itch. heh ... of course a wolf who smells like a plate of chips ... oh my, all those gorgeous lady wolves will be running in the opposite direction ... wolfish grin!