The Annual Miracle of Midges


Midges on the water close up

Clicking on this picture to enlarge it will
let you see the midges.

April 18, 2016

Every year for a few days in April the nearby lake is the site of an emergence of midges on a scale that boggles the mind.  The adults in their winged-insect stage arise from the water to mate, deposit their egg clusters on the water (females only of course), and fly around in gently undulating swarms. These clouds of midges can be carried by the wind some distance from their home waters.  When wind-blown midges find themselves near a protected surface out of the way of air currents—such as the eaves of our house—they tend to alight.  Eventually these surfaces—certainly our eaves—can become dark with resting midges.

Keep in mind that midges, while looking something like small mosquitos, do not bite.  They do not seek a blood meal–or any meal at all for that matter–and apart from the occasional individual that might happen to stray too near someone’s face (the sheer numbers pretty much guarantee that this will happen), they do not bother us humans.  This fact, and the knowledge that their lives in this final stage are extremely brief—only two or three days—leaves me feeling kindly towards midges and open to the wonder of their annual appearance.

Each tiny body
is perfection for a day—
midges without end




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