Tuesday, May 01, 2007

I might regret saying this - few midges this Summer?

You heard it here first. There will be few midges around this Summer.
Great news. I'm thinking of putting out a press release on this. We are at the cottage now and there are no signs of the dreaded midge. They usually start around May, build up to a ferocious climax in August, and die off in Septemer having feasted on human blood all Summer.
You won't believe the next bit, but I promise you it is true. Although we are on the West Coast with its notorious reputation for midge atrocities, and you can see the human remains from countless bites all around the Glencoe Lochan in the Summer - why do you think they put the Glencoe Hospital there? - we get virtually no midges where we are at the cottage.
We have not had one guest complain about midges here, at this spot. No I can't believe it as I write. Neither Gillian nor I, in all the nineteen years we have been here, have ever complained about the midges. and we are wimps. The first to scurry off to bed if there was any danger of a bloodsucking female around. It is the females who bite. As ever.
Why few midges this year, then?
We now have a comprehensive midge measurement service for the first time in Scotland. In the Spring of last year they were forecasting that midges would be bad in a dry summer. They weren't. they were very light. They know this because there are machines around that kill off midges, and the scientists can collect the remains and get a count.
To their amazement, they collected significantly fewer than the year before.
If we are to get aother long dry hot summer, then starting with a lower population and breeding stock then I think we should get fewer still.
The midge forecasters don't start until this month, so I'm getting my forecast in early.
Nothing like hot news - a scoop in fact.

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Lochside cottage near Glencoe in the Highlands of Scotland
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