Sunday, April 17, 2011


Another lovely spring evening in the arctic. The moon is beautiful right now, a fairly clear night and a balmy -16 (that's 3F for all the Americans out there). This is a nice time of year, long hours of sun, reasonably warm temperatures - AND NO BUGS! The mosquitoes and various types of biting flies are truly awful up here. You'd have to see it to believe it.

I remember a summer several years back when a pilot from Texas was up here and stopped in to ask me a few questions about the area (I used to provide weather briefings). He said he wanted to do some fishing, was going to get a boat and go out on the water (even worse out there). I warned him about the bugs and suggested he get a bug jacket and face covering, at least one layer, and get a lot of repellent. He was a big man and crouched down a little to give me an incredulous look. He said, in his Texas drawl, "Son, I've been fishing in northern Ontario and Manitoba, y'all got nothing I haven't seen before."

Two days later he stopped in for some weather information and it was all I could do not to start laughing in front of him. His face was a swollen mass, I could hardly even make out his features. Seems he'd gone out with no protection, not even bug spray.

"Son, I ain't never seen something like that before. That just ain't right."

I heartily agree! :)

As beautiful as the summers are here and as awesome as the bush is, it's almost impossible to enjoy the area due to the bugs. If you travel up north, be very very very prepared for that!!! Invest in a bug jacket, wear layered clothing that covers your body and be able to close off clothing openings as needed. I'm really not kidding.


  1. I read an interesting statistic once, (that I can't find right now of course) about the biomass that's transferred from land creatures to the fish by way of biting/sucking bugs. It's literally tons, and represents the main vector for transfer of that biomass in Northern regions. A vital ecological function. (Even if it is hard on us land creatures.)


  2. I'm doing more than my part then, I wish they'd leave me a little more biomass! I get an allergic reaction from bug bites which makes it even worse. Mosquito bites get extremely swollen and fly bites leave welts....

  3. Nothing like an overnight snowstorm with 60 km/h winds to remind me that spring is at least another month away.