At Nature’s Whim…Buggy in Iowa

People love to have me around in buggy situations. It’s not because of my technical expertise or brilliant deductive reasoning, but very simply because I’m a natural-born magnet for all things blood-sucking. I’m not sure if it’s my sweet smell or tasty insides, but either way I seem to attract hematophagous bugs like a homing beacon providing wondrous relief to all those around me while I suffer like a human piñata at a mosquito birthday party.

In these particular situations it can be hard to see the positive side of things, or even the point of it all. I mean really, are mosquitoes necessary? But these experiences nonetheless help to remind us that we’re only here at the mercy of Great Mother Nature. When we arrived in this bug-infested-mosquito-haven  of an Iowa forest, Sioux City area had just had the wettest July on record followed by a random storm the previous week-end that dropped 1 ½ inches of rain in 20 minutes and roared 80 mph winds. Farmer Bob lost his outdoor building, power lines went down, hundreds of trees broke in Stone State Park and the extended muggy conditions created unprecedented numbers of mosquitoes.

It’s humbling when you look at it all and just a reminder that nature is so much more powerful than anything man-made. So, next time you’re being sucked dry by annoying bugs just remember, you’re only here at Nature’s whim.

Damage from the Aug 8th storm at Stone State Park
It looks so inviting, but I took 15 bites stopping to take this shot
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  1. rvfulltimers says

    Sounds like Alaska. Though it seems to have gotten better and better, I’ve seen mosquitos so bad here that it looks like fur on a guy’s back. Here in the Anchorage area, it is no so bad, but you can wear a thiamin patch, take plenty of Vitamin B12, and spray yourself. They still come after you. The only thing we’ve found that works are those neat little gadgets that you attach to your belt. They’re made by Off! They spin around (using batteries), and they keep the mosquitos away. I didn’t get bit even once in the garden after putting one of those on the back of my shorts. After trying everything in the book, that is the only thing that works for us. Prepare yourself, if you come to Alaska. Some years it hasn’t been so bad, but other years, they start biting by the end of April. We have about 20+ different kinds of mosquitos here. I’ve not been able to plenn-air paint my paintings here at all (outdoors). Luckily, the Lower 48 has fewer problems with that.
    My husband is diabetic, and he can’t even go outside most of the time. He gets hammered by them!

    • libertatemamo says

      I remember the bugs in Alaska from our backpacking trip there…yeah, they’re something else! THANKS for the info about the Off! gadget. We’ve seen them around, but had no idea if they worked. I’ll go pick some up!

  2. rvfulltimers says

    Forgot to mention: old Alaska Native trick: burn birch bark peeled off a birch tree. What works just as well: campfires. Almost everyone here has a fire pit in their back yard, for good reason. Campfires work great.

  3. says

    This sounds like our recent trip to Benham Falls on the Deschutes River north of Bend, OR. Fortunately we weren’t camping at the location, just hiking. The mosquitoes were miserable. I think I was 5 pound lighter after a mile hike because of the loss of blood! @rvfulltimers, I wondered if those “Off” repellent devices actually worked. I have looked at them several times. I guess I will need to try one out.

    • libertatemamo says

      Yikes! I commiserate!! Here in MO the bugs are a bit better, but can you believe they have a “mosquito” rating when they report the weather? So, you get highs/lows, the forecast and the “mosquito” report. Looking forward to getting back to the mountains :)

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