Traverse City Record-Eagle

Northern Living

June 22, 2014

Ed Hungness: Up in a puff of smoke

I accept full responsibility for the weather we all endured last winter. It wasn’t climate change, it was me.

I heard tales about winters in the good old days while I was at the hardware store or having breakfast with the guys. I wanted to experience one of those famous up-north winters just once — one of those ones where snow stands 6-feet deep and the ice on the lake 3-feet thick.

The old saying goes: “Be careful what you wish for.”

Well I got my wish. This year I am wishing for a nice long summer, a beautiful fall and a mild next winter.

May showers, bring spring flowers, morels and mosquitoes. Winter finally lost its grip, frogs began peeping, and before long we were deluged with a bumper-crop of Michigan mosquitoes.

The blood-thirsty little devils were very hungry after a long winter’s nap. I can only recall one other spring when they actually followed us from our car to the cottage door.

It’s impossible to swat a mosquito feasting on your neck with a bag of groceries in each arm. So do you brave the bite to avoid dropping the dozen eggs or the bag with the quart jar of dill pickle slices?

I’m not quite sure why our Creator blessed us with mosquitoes. Perhaps they were designed to be food for bats or the tree swallows that entertain us with low acrobatic flights. We have an over abundance of mosquitoes and they can be considered part of the usual transition from winter to summer.

On the plus side mosquitoes create jobs. Would screens be needed on windows and doors were it not for mosquitoes and flies? As a young boy, I had a small bottle of 6-12 insect repellent in my tackle box. This clear, oil-like-repellent was a must for fishermen and campers.

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