Relative Something

*this* John W. Hays' take on things and experiences

Posts Tagged ‘mosquitos

Night Sky

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Last week, Cyndie and I wandered down the driveway to the high spot beside the hayfield about a half-hour after the sunset to watch the stars come out. We were seeking to view the comet, Neowise as it appeared to our northwest. It was the time of night when the mosquitos were thrilled to welcome our presence.

For that reason alone, I chose to remain standing (and walking back and forth) on the pavement instead of stirring up any additional flying terrorists from the fields on either side.

As the duskiness progressed, I struggled to perceive stars that Cyndie was noticing. The first spot of light I picked out was the planet Jupiter according to the night sky app on my phone. I was surprised about how long it seemed to take for the stars to appear even though we enjoy a luxury of having very little in the way of local nighttime light pollution.

It quickly became apparent to me that my peripheral vision was picking up more specific starlight than my direct gaze. That became my trick to spot Neowise before Cyndie did, just about a full hour after sunset.

It was the tail of the comet that my off-center vision detected. It stood out uniquely compared to the individual dots of light from stars. Once we knew exactly where to look, our binoculars provided valuable magnification to fully appreciate the view of Neowise.

By the time it showed up, we’d been staring at the sky so long my neck was tired, my back and ears were over-stimulated by mosquito irritations, and my eyes wanted to be asleep, so we didn’t linger long enough for the view to glow with adequate visibility for a photograph.

The reward of having looked directly at something passing through our inner solar system which wouldn’t return for many lifetimes (estimated 6,766 years from now) was plenty.

I was ready for bed.

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Written by johnwhays

July 25, 2020 at 10:16 am

Wild Treat

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We took Delilah on a deep woods explore across the road from the lake place yesterday and came home with a new chew toy to occupy her time for a while.

I’m guessing the old deer skull wasn’t giving off much of a scent because we had paused with Delilah almost standing on top of it when I spotted one side of the antlers sticking up. She was busy looking elsewhere, oblivious to the exciting treat below.

Rodents had already gnawed much of one antler, but it’s a safe guess that it was at least a 6-point buck.

I knocked off the remaining portion of the snout with teeth in it and let Delilah have what was left for a chew treat out on the deck all afternoon.

She seemed very happy with the adventure in the wild woods up north that make our little tract of forest at home seem like a postage stamp. It made it worth my having to suffer wearing long pants, long sleeves, and the annoying smell of bug repellant required to survive more than a brief minute under the canopy of the towering trees.

Walking in these woods turns people into wild treats for the mosquitos unless properly protected.

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Written by johnwhays

August 31, 2019 at 8:10 am

Storm Damage

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By the looks of the driveway alone, up at the lake, it is obvious that there was some heavy rain. There is evidence of a flash flood of runoff that washed gravel away into the woods. Farther along on the property, we discovered that the big eagles’ nest had also succumbed to the deluge. There was debris of sticks and dead fish on the ground at the base of the tree. Looking up, the size of the structure had shrunk considerably.

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Still, the two youngsters remained perched, one on a branch above, and one on what was left of the nest. We occasionally hear them calling out to the adults who are the source of their meals. I would expect the stinky fish that landed below to eventually be picked up and delivered above again. It’s not like they’re past their expiration date or anything.

Getting the fish bodies up off the ground would make it a little easier to walk Delilah that direction. It takes a lot of muscle to steer her clear of trying to roll around in all the stench.

On a whim, I decided to be adventurous and take Delilah for an explore in the woods across the highway from our property. As soon as we made our way beyond the thicket of growth along the berm beside the road and got into the spacious forest beneath the spectacular canopy of the tall trees, I discovered the hazard of my decision.

All that rain seems to have unleashed a ferocious new batch of teeny mosquitos. They were unrelenting in their onslaught. I tried to keep moving to foil their attempts to land, but Delilah –lacking the exposed flesh I presented– didn’t share my urgency. She kept stopping to smell every enticing forest odor and, still on leash, frequently chose a path that had us at odds over which side of tree trunks to be on.

I had to cut our expedition short and set a course straight back to the bright sunlight of the roadway.

Things were much calmer when we got to the beach and I let her soak in the water while I stood on the sand taking a sunbath and listening to loons.

By that point, the storm damage was out of sight and out of mind. Almost the same for the chaos of the preceding week.

I will continue this course of therapy for a couple of days. It seems to be just what a doctor would order for what was ailing me.

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Written by johnwhays

August 10, 2019 at 7:51 am