First frost can’t get here soon enough

I try to get out to walk a few miles twice a day, which is normally fine and pleasant, but conditions have changed. Right now…

  • It is warm

  • We’ve had almost daily rainstorms for the past several weeks

  • This is Minnesota.

Do you know what this means, boys and girls?

The air is equal parts humidity and mosquitos. I walk down the sidewalk doing a slappy dance, fighting off clouds of carnivorous chitin, screaming out stuff like “Aaargh, not in the eye, you filthy bugger!” and “Yikes, how did you get in there?” and assorted incoherent epithets, occasionally having to spit out bugs, which is the downside of opening your mouth to cuss ’em out. Avoid bushes. Do not step in the grass. Anything with vegetation is a hive of evil that will stir itself at any dissturbance.

I’ve finally arrived at the safety of my office, raked the mangled corpses out of my beard (I have that bit of protection going for me), and can relax a little bit. I imagine it’s a bit like living in the Carboniferous.

Now you know why Minnesotans don’t mind winter so much. It murders the vicious little bitey bastards.


  1. redwood says

    Hairy arms helps too–I’ve occasionally watched the little buggers get caught up in the bristles, at least long enough for me to smack ’em. When gardening, though, it’s DEET all the way, as chigau (違う) @1 suggested.

  2. slithey tove (twas brillig (stevem)) says

    NWS has been telling us about the “heat dome” that is engulfing the midwest, that will soon engulf the eastern seaboard as well.
    Massachugians [TM] have been sweltering the past few days over 90F. I understand, hopefully mistakenly, that the meidwest is hovering around the century mark.
    I hope the constant rain means frequent cold fronts sweeping through precipitating the overwhelming humidity.

  3. says

    When I was a kid I used to visit my aunt and grandparents in MSP. I went to the amusement park with my cousins, and we had a contest to see who could kill the most mosquitoes off their arm with one slap. The high score was 6.

  4. brett says

    I think the heat here in the Salt Lake Valley is keeping the mosquitos down, along with getting virtually no rain in July. I did get chewed up when I went hiking the other day near a small lake by Brighton.

  5. magistramarla says

    Here in south Texas, I’ve been sending my grandson off to his lifeguarding job with plenty of bottled water and sunscreen. The temperature has been 96 to over 100 most days that he has worked. Now the poor kid has to start marching in the heat at band camp for three weeks. It has been so dry that my Sjogren’s Syndrome has become debilitating. My mouth has been so dry that I can hardly talk.
    We’re finally getting a bit of rain this week, but now it feels like a sauna whenever I walk out the door. The husband’s retirement and our return to the coast of California can’t come soon enough for me!

  6. slithey tove (twas brillig (stevem)) says

    re 7:
    gak. winter MN will give you negative F temperatures. -20F at least. I like winter, around the 0C mark or even 0F, but less than that is a little too cold to enjoy. IMO “withstanding” is not quite “enjoyment”. MN is known as having two seasons for the year: Winter and summer being a week of mosquitoes, or so we snarky Bay Staters (aka Massachugians[TM] ) like to say.

  7. blf says

    I thought many of the USAlienstani bloodsuckers were in Philadelphia this week. Or are these just the local thugs recently returned from Cleveland?

    In either case, cold & dark doesn’t eliminate them. Sunlight, and drying up their bribes, works better.

  8. whywhywhy says

    #11 The bloodsuckers are not from Cleveland. We are in a bit of a drought. PZ send some of the rain our way. We have been extremely dry and hot since the snowstorm we had in Mid-May. I don’t understand we have cold winters and hot summers but don’t seem to spend too much time transitioning.

  9. says

    Out here north of your old stompin’ grounds, we had one cloud of ‘skeeters about a month ago, and almost none since. Temperatures mostly in the ’60s and early ’70s while the rest of the US suffers in the inferno. We’re just waiting for a bit more top-down weather…

  10. mareap says

    We had a massive mayfly hatch last night between Winona and Brownsville. Made the radar. Had to scoop them up this morning.

  11. emergence says

    We’ve got our own problems in California right now, especially Southern California. The continuing drought is bad enough that rain is unheard of in the summer, and still fairly rare every other season. I haven’t even seen any clouds over the past few months. Then there’s the wildfires. The vegetation is dry enough and the heat is intense enough that a discarded cigarette butt or a kid with a sparkler can set entire stretches of land on fire. You could actually see a haze of smoke hanging in the air. What’s worse, summer weather lasts a long time here. It probably won’t dip below 60 during the day until around October.

  12. Katie Anderson says

    I’ve been living in the Seattle area for the last year and a half. We’ve had multiple people use “eaten alive” to describe experiencing three mosquitos while out for hours. Then we laugh and tell them about what it’s like in Michigan. And then our Indian friends laugh and tell us all about the bugs in India.

  13. says

    Next door, the squitoes are bad enough, but the flies, fuck almighty, you get swarmed by the nasty buggers. There are a high number of effing horseflies about, too.

  14. pipefighter says

    Funny, whenever I say I can’t wait for winter I get chased out into the bushes by an angry pitch fork wielding mob. I always liked Alberta winters.

  15. Azkyroth, B*Cos[F(u)]==Y says

    Massachugians [TM] have been sweltering the past few days over 90F.

    Sounds rough…

    Here we don’t have mosquitoes, just air that’s seriously thinking about incandescing. >.>

  16. jack16 says

    How is your bat population? Whippoorwills, night jars? Do you have a bathouse? These animals eat an incredible amount of mosquitos.

  17. benedic says

    Tou might like Keneth McKellar’s “the Midges “. It is on You Tube- I recommend it to show cross pond solidarity.

  18. Raucous Indignation says

    Steve, are you at all familiar with chicken odor? It repels humans too.

  19. Akira MacKenzie says

    Normally, I thrive in from late Spring to early Autumn. Everything is warm and green and bright. Then reality goes down hill after Halloween as the weather starts to turn really shitty and things get dark and cold and the pure frozen Hell that is a Wisconsin winter comes. (The Starks have got nothing on me.)

    However, I do agree things could be a bit cooler. Going outside feels like walking through a bowl of soup.

  20. emergence says

    How’s Minnesota’s local spider population? I’ve heard that predation can bring some respite to the onslaught of winged parasites.

  21. Crimson Clupeidae says

    At least we have minimal mosquito issues here in Az.

    I have a nice picture of my back porch from a couple weeks back with the thermometer reading about 127F (in the shade). The official high that day was 119F. It was nice biking weather (4% humidity). :D

    This week is only in the low 100s, but the humidity is hovering around the 20-25% range, which makes it bleah.

  22. taraskan says

    I think you’ve found possibly the only appropriate use of a burqa. Waste not! Maybe you can dye it pink with lime green stripes.

    I’m sticking with my stillsuit for the rest of summer.

  23. Stardrake says

    slithey tove (twas brillig (stevem)) @ 10–You are incorrect. While Minnesota does indeed have only 2 seasons, they are in fact winter and ROAD CONSTRUCTION. Orange cones are even more common than the mosquitoes. And that’s saying something!

  24. ajbjasus says

    I do some alpine backcountry expeditions with a hard-bitten Scottish ski guide, who is never beaten by conditions. We were out on day at 3000 meters with minus 10c and the snow coming horizontally at us. “Nice day, eh?” he said. Then to our “What?” – “there’s nae bloody midges”