Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Pirate Bugs Big Bites The Only Sign of Autumn

Photograph was taken by Ashley Blissitt in Fowler, Indiana in the midst of cornfields and windmills. She took this picture because she believes these windmills are an important innovation to help the environment.

I could not agree more Ashley. This picture pretty much sums up how we finished out summer and our auspicious start to autumn. It also portends a bright future forecast if we can continue to produce our own energy in this country.

The weather pattern has been outstanding we have had four consecutive days above 80 degrees here at WLFI and eight straight days without a drop of rain. It has been a bit humid but nothing we cannot handle. So you would expect our weather team to have no complaints to speak of! Wrong! There are these little black bugs with a million teeth that really hurt bad according to residents from Monon to Frankfort. I felt their big bite when I was out mowing my grass on Saturday. The culprits are called flower bugs or pirate bugs. They usually come out this time of year and can inflict a lot of pain even if they are on the size of pinheads. They are usually our first real sign of autumn before the first real cold snap or frost hits.They are like the Pirates of the Carribean or in this case the pirates of Indiana because they like swarming around small insects, spider mites, and insect eggs. They actually feed off the eggs of corn earworm, tomato fruitflies, soybean aphid populations, and many other types of mites. If there is a positive they are a huge help to farmers and they keep the crops much healthier during the next few weeks of harvesting. This year's pirate bug population is booming thanks to all the rain we have had this summer. Our summer rainfall came out between 2.5" and 3.0" above average in Tippecanoe County with amounts of up to 5 inches above average in spots. They usually do not pose any danger to humans other than the pain and a sometimes a little swelling. You can try using bug spray but the pirate bugs will still bite you sometimes no matter what. They are rebels. So remember the only thing you can do is cover up which is tough when it is in the 80s and I think we could stay at 80 or above all the way through Saturday. So when I tell you to get out the shorts it may come with a price. At least I warned you and the good news is that these pests will usually be a thing of the past once we get our first good cold snap which is only a couple weeks away.

Speaking of cold and autumn. We do have plenty of cold weather during autumn so enjoy the bugs and 80s while you can. Here was last night's weather question we answered. It gave me goosebumps I was so excited. Jeff Smith and Sue Scott did get this right and that is Lafayette averages 4.3 inches of snow in the autumn. Do you remember the big 6 to 10 inch snow we had in October of 1989? This year I am still liking a possible record snow in November. We had 5.4 inches of snow in November of 1955. The middle 1950s have matched up quite well with what has transpired here in Indiana over the past 18 months. I am not guaranteeing this, but you heard it here first!! Man, I just laughed really loud.....kind of scary. Maybe I should get some sleep. We just never let our guard down in autumn, ever! We have measurable snow about once every three years during October. I am still leaning toward a White Thanksgiving but only time will tell.

Check back later today for the latest on Easter Lilies blooming in September and corn growing out of sewers. I am not sure what nature is trying to tell us but I am getting another weird feeling about this winter!! LOL....Here is a nice note from the Yoders.

Attached two pictures we recently took...Easter lily is in our back yard in Dayton and the corn stalk growing out of the storm drain is on Route 231, west of Purdue Campus. Isn't it interesting Easter lilies blooming in September and a corn stalk growing out of a storm drain?
Pat & Lee Yoder

Okay.....has anyone check on Earl the Squirrel in Kentland? I am curious that is all. Oh before I forget here is the corn in the sewer....possible Stephen King sequel to Children of the Corn?

Need I say more...I will...have a great day and I will be back!

Your Blog Song of the Day: MY SHARONA......well its tie in is that it is from the movie REALITY BITES....AND IF YOU ARE NOT COVERED UP OUTSIDE IT CERTAINLY DOES! I need sleep now. Enjoy the Knack from 1979 which was also the year of a big October snowstorm in Bowie, Maryland.


Anonymous said...

I remember the snowfall in Oct. of 1989!

When I woke that morning, I couldnt believe my eyes. The beautiful trees, full of orange and red leaves were weighted down by heavy wet snow.

I remember some areas received over 10 inches of snow! I think Tipp Co. received around 8 inches! The snow was gone by mid afternoon. What a beautiful sight! Something I will never forget.

Teri in Laf.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Mike. Keep us updated on the East Coast also, with our beautiful weather here I forgot about what could be churning in the Atlantic again.


Anonymous said...

Hi Mike and bloggers....we call those little black bugs "no see-ums" cuz they get you before you "see um" and they are alive and well in Remington for sure!

all right, Mike...how concerned do we need to be about that solid squall line in MN/IA moving rapily east????

I had a high of 85* today! I keep the house closed up all day until evening and it stays pretty decent w/o running the AC. Gosh, used to see my mom do that back in "the good ole days" B4 AC!!

Mary Anne in Remington

Anonymous said...

Every time I have been to the Feast of the hunters moon, I have little bites on my arms, if warm enough and wear shorts my leggs are attacked, I heard the come from the crops.

Anonymous said...

My grandma died Friday, we had to her bury her today, glad the weather was good. just the kind of weather she liked. She liked to watch you on TV Mike.

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