August 6, 2011 5:19 pm Published by 3 Comments

Photo By Brian Berchtold

This can be a risky time to walk on Presque Isle and any wooded area within our region. The attacks of the pesky mosquito are slowly petering out and this year was a record year for these pests because of our wet spring. There will continue to be some of the pests around for the rest of the summer, but most are almost gone.
The real problem, which I refer to as a terrorist attack, is by a bloodsucking female fly. This problem should also be slowing soon. However, someone forgot to tell the deer fly that their season is over. The poor male deer fly gets the blame for the powerful bite, but it is caused by the saliva the female fly injects into the wound after she bites. In contrast, the only duty of the male deer fly has is to gather pollen for future use. These terrorists should be running out of steam in the near future.
A couple of facts to remember are that a good Deet based spray will discourage the mosquito, and for the deer fly, there is only one solution, a deer fly patch. The Nature Shop at Presque Isle, TREC, and few hunting and fishing stores carry a patch you attach to the back of your hat. The flies love it, and come to it and get glued to it. With the patch, a fellow Presque Isle regular is careful to warn, that for some reason it ONLY WORKS placed on the back of your hat.. Also, these insects love the heat, so walking in the cooler mornings MAY offer some help.
I can just hear some of you! If the woods are full of terrorist bugs, why the heck would I want to walk and not put it off until later? Maybe, you are right. However, what you miss might be significant. You see, right now is when the angels of Presque Isle’s insect world begin to show themselves to the public. They have been here for a couple of months, except only now do you begin to see them more often.
The angels are the 89 species of Odonata (dragonflies and damselflies}. The Dragonfly is the heralded emblem of the warm August afternoons. It is a creature of the heat. It’s darting and weaving activity, and its purposeful direction and speed are in contrast to the lethargy that currently hangs over the ponds and lagoons of Presque Isle.
The dragonfly, which will get a complete blog article in September, seems in some ways to belong in the tropics. They have been on the planet for roughly 300 million years. They are territorial and elusive. Though you cannot see them with the naked eye, the compound eye of the dragonfly contains thousands of tiny lenses.
All have two pairs of wings which are transparent and move very fast, so it often appears that they have more than two pairs. Deep in the lagoons and on the shores of Marina Lake are two of the best places to see our Angels. If you want to walk to the quiet shoreline of Marina Lake, I suggest you follow the “Old Gas Well Trail” or “Canoe Portage Trail” to the lake shoreline. The “Graveyard Pond Trail,” the “Sidewalk Trail,” and the “Long Pond Trail “will also bring you next to or close to the ponds or lagoons of Presque Isle.


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