Tuesday, June 23, 2015


       A few weeks ago, I was at Grandma and Grandpa’s house and saw in the newspaper that it has been the fourth-wettest winter in Wyoming history. Then this past week, I attended a summer camp near Jackson Hole. We learned about many things focused around renewable energy. Beyond the awesomeness of the camp, one thing really stood out. The wetness caused a “mosquitoes apocalypse!” It got me thinking: “What do mosquitoes do in their lifetime BESIDES EATING 13 YEAR OLD BOYS?” Because honestly? It felt like the entire population of mosquitoes in the Rocky Mountains descended on our camp for an entire week.
      Mosquito eggs are scattered in stagnant water and mud. Once the eggs develop for a bit, they can stay alive for months in what is essentially a coma. Once the little monsters hatch, they grow and feed on algae and microbes. Then they go through metamorphosis and emerge as adults. They will lay eggs and live about two weeks, and then will be eaten by bats, birds, and fish. They also will ambush you on nice hikes.
      Their favorite ambush tactic is to wait while a group of kids comes around the backside of Wolf Hill. Then they come, and about 100 of them gather on your hat. I think the motive behind this is to hold you down while the other million or so swarm you. They force you to bushwhack (actually it's more like parkour with a backpack on in heavily wooded areas) down the ridge, while swatting yourself with anything bigger and harder than your hand.
       In short, mosquitoes are diabolical creatures that are necessary evils. They will eat you faster than I eat anything during elk season; they are most likely the cause of every sprained ankle ever sustained on a hike. But, they also are a major source of food for lots of different species. And if this holds true, then the fish I catch this summer are going to be the size of my Golden Retriever. So I probably wouldn’t be able to go fishing without them, but if I did, it would be a heck of a lot more pleasant!

-The Apprentice