Monday, 27 June 2011

Season of the Midge

Last time, I mentioned that I'd heard the mad dogs proclaiming that 'they're coming'. This time I discovered who 'they' are: Scottish midges and they're out in force in Aberfoyle. It's like an invasion. I had no idea that they were so fond of camping so I did a little research.
Here comes the science bit: "Culicoides Impunctatus" is a vegetarian species, except after mating, when the female then craves blood. In order to give her offspring the best chance of survival she must get a blood meal within 5 days. Humans and other animals form an excellent takeaway service. 
So midges are the ultimate party animals: dance, shag, feast, repeat. Live fast, die young. 
From the safety of the inside of the cabin I watched the midges spontaneously divide as tiny lovers separated. Their imagined delight was tempered slightly with my thoughts of the impending bloodbath as a thousand female vampire midges sought out a post coital meal. And I was due a walk soon.
Fortunately my coat got lagged with a protective shield of Avon's Skin So Soft so the damage was minimal. My master however forgot to squirt his head and erupted in a thousand tiny bites. I'm sure he's very proud to have donated so much blood in order to safeguard the lives of so many tiny insects. He's not even a blood donor.
He's been having a hard time lately, feeling his age. Firstly, he went to the doctor thinking he had a urinary tract infection. He had pains in lower back roughly where his kidneys are but it turned out the urine sample was clear. His sore back was just an age thing. And this from a locum doctor who was younger than him too. Double ouch!
Then he noticed a couple of hairs protruding from the tip of his nose. Not content with growing inside his nose and his ears, his hair was now poking out of his nose skin. I suppose it has to go somewhere now it's stopped growing on his scalp. He's concerned that he'll end up with a nosetache. I told him if he's lucky they'll grow into whiskers like mine. He could use them to detect the presence of midges before they bite him.