Saturday, April 02, 2005

Wildlife And Romance


Brad Fitzpatrick keeps a blog of sketches and this one caught my eye and tugged at my heart. Not so much for the moose -- which I saw occasionally when I lived up north -- but for the insects keeping it company, which I saw more often (except for the no-see-ums, of course.) There are bugs in Rhode Island, but I've never noticed the ubiquitous (though apparently not so ubiquitous) black fly. And even mosquitoes seem more retiring if you avoid the woods.

I don't miss the flies.

But, strangely, I do. A breeze is never more loved than when it blows away a cloud of flies.

Moved by nostalgia, I googled no-see-ums -- aka midges -- and learned:

The biting midges belong to the genus Culicoides of the family Ceratopogonidae; they are the smallest of the bloodsucking insects and are common pests in the NE United States, where they are called punkies, sand flies, and no-see-ums. The adults have mouthparts that pierce and suck and inflict irritating bites on humans; some species ride the wings of dragonflies and lacewings, sucking the blood of their hosts.

There's something daring and romantic about a midge riding the wings of a dragonfly.

By the way, note the dandy drawing of a frog at the top of the page. It's only flaw is the strange symmetry in size between the eyes.