Skeeters and face flies and gnats, oh my!

The relentless deluges abated this past week. It did cause the Twin Cities metro area to miss the wettest June record by a mere 0.31″ with a total of 11.36″ falling, most of it in a two-week period. Bear in mind our official climate records only date back to 1871. Some of the flooded roads in the area opened again, sandbag walls began coming down and people could focus on enjoying what is now a shortened summer.

One vexing and lingering problem with the excessive precipitation is an abundance of flying blood-sucking insects. A hike in the hot and humid weather means losing a couple of pounds due to sweating and blood draining. There has been a noticeable drop in the mosquito (skeeter), face fly and gnat populations with the current lull the monsoon season. The warmer weather did finally end the wood tick season, and none too soon. I was wondering if this region would experience a doxycycline shortage. Choking on gnats while giving a garden tour is not one of my favorite activities.

Bloomington has its annual fireworks display as part of Summer Fest on July 3. The weather could not have been any more perfect: light breeze, low humidity, temperature near 80°F and no rain. I met a friend for dinner at Romano’s Macaroni Grill and afterwards we went to the Summer Fest. Various cover bands and the Bloomington Symphony played until the fireworks display. For the families that brought their young ones, the northeast corner of Normandale Lake Park had activities and food booths. Unlike last year, we did not have a huge Great Dane puppy keeping us company, but it was still fun to kick back, converse, and unwind. The fireworks display was fabulous, of course. With the thousands of people attending Summer Fest, there were no problems that required police intervention.

There is some concern with Monday’s forecast and the potential for very heavy rainfall tomorrow night. Even though the amount expected is between 0.75″ – 1.5″, the ground is still soaked just a couple of inches down. I am hoping the forecast is wrong. It is nice being outside without needing a transfusion after merely running to the mailbox and back.

The copious rains are contributing to a potentially bumper crop of raspberries and a very disappointing apple crop. Monarch butterflies have appeared in greater numbers than in years past, which is exciting. Peonies must not like wet weather, because this is the second summer in a row mine never bloomed. There are no Japanese beetles yet (and I hope it stays that way), and the aggravating June bugs were hardly an issue. Last year, the June bugs kept flying into the aluminum siding so it sounded like a mild hailstorm. The wet weather did kill off all the blanket flowers and one small clematis, though. I will be doing some replanting before fall. Soon the toads, tree frogs and cicadas start sounding and the fireflies start blinking. Lucy and I really enjoyed that part of the summer.

I hope my American readers had a wonderful and safe holiday weekend. It is a badly needed summer break that lets us recharge, even with skeeters and face flies and gnats, oh my!

 

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