Questions About Verstovia Mosquitoes

On this relatively warm and sunny day I decided it was time to go for the second (1200ft) viewpoint on Verstovia Trail for the first time this year.

Distance wise, the second viewpoint is well over halfway to picnic rock, but it just under the halfway point elevation-wise.

We made steady progress up past the first viewpoint, but then Rowan’s mouth and throat started drying out. She stopped several times between the 1000 ft marker and the second viewpoint. Stops were brief – if I didn’t get her started again, the mosquitoes did.

There was just a bit of snow on the trail at the beginning of the clearing that leads up to the viewpoint, most of it was packed on the trail, but there was also a little bit off to the side.

The view was good, and the warm sun was pretty nice, but the mosquitoes were not so welcome, and Rowan was ready to start back down again shortly after arriving. She gave me a sour look when I asked to take her picture, and this outing got a thumbs trending down rating.

Rowan’s mouth was still quite dry, so I grabbed some of the snow that was off the trail and she ate that over the next few minutes. This seemed to improve her outlook significantly, and she resolved to bring some water the next time.

I’m still curious about the mosquitoes in the forest. I’ve definitely noticed them in the early season before, but I don’t remember noticing them during summer hikes in the mountain slope forest. Do they just have generation per year, with adults overwintering? I think mosquitoes generally need standing water to reproduce, and don’t tend to be strong fliers – where are they finding the water? Maybe they don’t need much and here is enough in nooks of trees?

My iNaturalist Observations for Today

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