“Beech Returns (and a bug)”

“The forest fills with fresh green growth, as the cycle of growth begins anew, and with it, the inevitable return of insects.” – Ed Lehming

This image is now approaching a week old and represents the first solid growth of beech leaves in my area. On previous posts I have commented on the cool and dry spring we’ve had. Two weeks ago it snowed. Then seemingly overnight the temperature climbed into the high 20’s (celcius) and the forest literally exploded into life.

I’ve been waiting for a bit of warmth to bring on growth and add some colour back to the landscape, but along with the warmth come the stinging and biting insects. In this area, a particularly nasty critter known as a blackfly dominates May to early June. They are about the size of fruit flies but in their quest for a meal leave small itchy punctures which tend to bleed due to the anticoagulant in their saliva. The saliva also causes them to itch terribly in most people, leaving large red welts with a predominant puncture wound in the centre. You don’t feel them when they bite but you sure feel the itch afterwards.

I have not ventured into the woods since I made this image. I’m hoping the heat will ‘burn off’ some of the swarms of blackflies, yes there are literally clouds of them, before my next visit but I may not be able to wait that long. I know these leaves will be fully opened on my next visit and the delicate fuzz which protects them from late frosts will have been shed, leaving shiny, deep-green leaves to drink in the sun’s energy.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP AF 90mm f/2.8 Di Macro 1:1 (272ENII)@90mm

1/500 sec, f/8.0, ISO 200

5 Comments on ““Beech Returns (and a bug)”

  1. Ah, the joys of blackflies. We have ’em here in Vermont of course, but I’ll never forget my summers as a teenager canoe tripping up around the Temagami region of Ontario. Now them’s some blackflies! And deer flies. And mosquitos… Hoards of all of them!

    Nice shot by the way!

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