After an unusually cold spring, this past week brought temps in the 60s and the first day of liquid precipitation. In just a few days, the tundra has changed from snowy and brown into the tundra that I’m familiar with. The dwarf birch is turning green, flowers are blooming, and pollinators are buzzing around.
[Purple saxifrage blooming on the Little Ice Age moraine.]
The real talk of the town is the mosquito emergence. As I meet people and tell them that I am here to study the mosquitoes, I receive a wincing grin followed by questions like, “Why haven’t there been any mosquitoes yet?” and “Will there be a lot of mosquitoes this year?” I’ve never been here for mosquito season, but from what I hear, it can be painful. I have been carefully monitoring mosquito populations in the ponds and tracking their progression from the larval stage through the pupal stage and now onto the adults. I caught my first adult in an emergence trap just today.
[Emergence Trap at Black Ridge Pond and a close up of the first mosquito trapped].