Thursday, May 6, 2010

Chironomids at Lake Dore

Chironomid Festival at Lake Dore

Today we pulled into a municipal park at Lake Dore, in Renfrew County, west of Cobden, Ontario, and as I was setting aside my laptop and preparing to open the door, large shadows of slender insects fell on me - from the centimetre-long midges that had suddenly landed all over the van!

It's the annual Chironomid Festival at Lake Dore, and we're included!  I tried to photograph one of over one hundred that were using my side door window as their staging ground, but my camera preferred to focus on the background rather than on the insect - so I sketched it instead!

Adam also did a sketch in his journal, including the vehicle from the position of the besieged.

Chironomid Seige

In places the air was positively thick with dancing, whining, fluffy-antennaed males, bobbing up and down in columns.  It was a windy day, and as I walked back from the lake the midges gathered in my lee, gradually including me in a swarm.  I could feel them brushing against me, but they didn't land because they were busy dancing!

chironomidswarm2010may06

As I prepared this photo for including here,

adamdrawingchironomid

one of the Chironomids that have hitchiked with us since we left the lake, landed on my computer monitor, dwarfing the images of her relatives on Adam's window.  I laughed out loud and took another picture!

A real Chironomid on my monitor

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