A strange summer Saturday it was yesterday. That's because it rained all day, a very unusual summer occurence. We totaled up well over an inch of rain and the temps stayed in the 60's. The problem that goes with the copious summer rains is mosquitoes. Since arriving home Thursday night, I have had 8 more bites including on my scalp, forehead, neck, armpit, and ankles. (pretty much wherever clothing was absent)
It got me to thinking about insects and rain too. We had "big drops" yesterday. You know, the kind of rain that is composed of big drops that splash when they hit the ground. (As opposed to misty, drizzly, or light rain.) What do the insects do when it rains like this? I mean, here's a drop of rain (weighing more than the insect) careening out of the sky and smacking everything with all its might. Imagine if it were raining giant human sized balloons of water, you would likely be killed if hit by one, wouldn't you?
So maybe they are killed in heavy rain. Maybe in the fly's eleven day lifespan, a thunderstorm is the equivalent to our tsunami. After the storm, the surviving mosquitoes and flies and bees gather together and try to make sense of this terrible slaughter wrought by mother nature. They talk about the senselessness, the indiscriminate nature of the killing, and question the existence and motives of God. Those who escape death share survival stories and myths are spun out of strange coincidences. (When the crow flies and the dog is near, it is then the sky that we must fear.)
Many of those lucky enough to survive had found the underside of broad leafed tree leaves and hung on as the wind howled and the tree shook. Their harrowing day of clinging for dear life paid off, though hunger and exhaustion haunt them. A new sense of urgency has also inspired them to copulate as quickly as possible to rebuild their numbers, and new waves of young insects will flutter skyward over the next couple of days.
And this roller coaster of life goes on and on, until winter.
Annual Armageddon for the insect world.