In the woods behind my house, shallow puddles of rainwater stretch amongst trees, the perfect breeding ground for mosquitoes, which hatched during the first warm spell in May. When I walk through, every step of my boots causes a new cloud of mosquitoes to fly buzzing into the air, swarming eagerly around me to light on my bare arms. When I garden, I wear long pants no matter how hot it is, and I spend about half of my time slapping my arms to fend off bites. I did experiment with bringing a fan out on an extension cord in hopes that the swirling air would keep the mosquitoes away: this worked wonderfully for about an hour and then I accidentally knocked the fan over and broke it.
So for a morning walk, I stayed out of my own woods and drove over to Pretty Colour Lakes, a state park not far from my house. The two lakes are plunge pools formed during the ice age when water came cascading off a glacier. That means they are very deep and rounded, and their sides are fairly steep hills, with no puddles at all. The cedar trees that line the lake paths have been there since my father was a kid, and I've walked these trails my whole life. These two lakes happen also to be miromictic, which means the water doesn't turn over each season the way most lakes do. The water is very deep and clear, with little suspended organic material, and both lakes are an unusual blue-green color that looks almost tropical.
The first lake has a beach, which will be crowded later in the summer, but in spring, the only people at the park are a handful of runners and dogwalkers. I could smell the cedar trees as I walked. At Dead Man's Point, the reefs that stretch out into the lake were still underwater. Later this summer, they will be a primary spot for teenagers to go skinny dipping, even though signs strictly forbid swimming there. The water was so clear and inviting that I was tempted to go for a swim myself, but unfortunately, unlike my teenage self, I had other commitments waiting at home, so I forced myself to keep walking.