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Pothole Dome (Tuolumne Meadows, Yosemite National Park)

The Moon is Full


Air wars over Yosemite

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Air wars over Yosemite
June 24, 2015 10:04AM
In mid-June at 10,200 feet, Roosevelt Lake was a wonderland. And it was also wondrously full of close encounters of the flying kind. The mosquitoes were so bad that we were not only wearing insect repellent, we were also fully clad in headnets.

And after enjoying a stunning sunset and the alpenglow on the peaks, we were ready to escape the bugs in the safety of our tent. We nimbly ducked through the mosquito netting and zipped it up quickly and carefully behind us.

P settled into his bag and closed his eyes. It had been a long day of off-trail hiking, and he was ready to sleep. M was soon to follow, and there was a wonderful stillness in the tent as she lay down to rest.

And then she sat up again.

"There's a mosquito in the tent!" she cried.

P tried to rest as she pulled out her headlamp and started scanning the tent for the offending skeeter. As he opened his eyes, P saw the beam of the headlamp slowly panning across the ceiling of the tent without success.

He surrendered, and pulled out his own headlamp and added it to the search pattern. Quietly, out of the side of his mouth, he began to make the slow, mournful siren of the air raid horns from London in the Second World War. The searchlights continued to pan across the ceiling in a random pattern.

"There it is!" M called out as she took a swipe at the MO-109 flying mosquito. She missed.

Again the lights searched the sky. Again the air raid siren wailed to life.

"Got it!" she said happily, as the bug got squished against the netting and fell slowly out of the sky. We only missed the sound effects of the tailspin as it went down.

The searchlights went off. The siren signaled the all clear. And we settled in for a quiet night's sleep, protected against the enemy by a thin wall of gauze.


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avatar Re: Air wars over Yosemite
June 24, 2015 11:11AM
Some years, when the mosquitos were at their worse in Yosemite, when I first day that I entered my Yosemite Lodge room, or Curry Village room or cabin, I would search diligently all the walls, curtains, tabletops and the ceiling for any lurking mosquitos. Usually, I would find at least five or six of them silently waiting for their next blood meal. Sometimes it was a bit of challenge to reach the ones on the ceilings, especially the high ceilings of the second floor lodge rooms. Still, it was well worth the effort killing those skeeters.

After housekeeping finished freshening up my room the next day, I would go through the same routine, but usually there were no more than couple of mosquitos that snuck in (if any at all).

avatar Re: Air wars over Yosemite
June 26, 2015 07:49PM
I can relate...they were really bad at Ostrander mid-June. I'd guess the May-and-early-June T-Storms gave them plenty of hatching locations despite the drought. And another Sierra T-Storm round is starting now.
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