They hatched. Swarms of them. Walk into my woods and they rise, buzzing and biting - to greet you. When I garden, I slap at my arms and legs constantly. Last night, sitting inside at my computer, I killed at least a dozen of them.
It is easy to get romanticized ideas about rural living. Especially in my part of the country where the woods are pretty benign. No venomous snakes. No carnivore that preys on humans. Just a lush landscape of flowering vegetation, rich soil, trees and creeks and meadows.
It would be easy to become complacent. Except for the mosquitos. At night, I scratch the poison ivy rash on my arms and the scattering of mosquito bites on my legs and listen for that annoying buzz. It's funny how something so small can make us humans feel humble.