Purveyor of Bollocks to the Crowned Heads of Europe
Monday, 16 June 2014
Did God make horseflies?
There are four more of these, just out of shot.
All in all, the Summer is going quite nicely here, with a good mix of weather meaning that the foliage has kept a good green at the same time as everyone getting a decent dose of vitamin D (I am told).
The only real drawback to a good Summer for me is the horseflies. I don't remember them as a kid, but now they are everywhere and - as I said last year - I think they were the model for those medieval depictions of Hell, with biting, winged creatures adding to the torment of the damned as they are shovelled into the gates of the underworld by red demons.
This year, I have found myself wondering what the impact on the ecosystem would be if they could be completely and selectively eradicated.
It's not just that I begrudge a bit of my blood to a starving creature - I have quite a lot of it - it is the whole extraction process that I don't understand. Not only does it hurt as soon as they get their saw-teeth into you, the infected bite - no matter how brief - is five times worse than any mosquito's and lasts five times as long. How are they so successful?
This is a serious question: Can anyone tell me of a single beneficial effect (as perceived by us humans) that the common horsefly or mosquito has on the natural world? At least wasps eat aphids.
No counter-questions about what good I am to the natural world, please. I ask myself that every day as it is.