2018-2019 Mid-Atlantic Winter Outlook for Cynical Snow Lovers who have been Slighted Too Many Times by the Empty Promises of Mother Nature

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Looks beautiful, right?  Well, don’t get used to it.

It’s that time of year again in the District-Maryland-Virginia (DMV); when hope for a cold and snowy winter springs eternal!  After taking a look at a variety of meteorological factors, including the overall amount of fallen acorns in my backyard, how hairy the caterpillars have been this fall, and the arrival time of Starbucks holiday cups, it’s time to release my 2018-2019 Mid-Atlantic Winter Outlook for Cynical Snow Lovers who have been Slighted Too Many Times by the Empty Promises of Mother Nature.  If you think it was a mouthful to read, imagine having to type it. Continue reading “2018-2019 Mid-Atlantic Winter Outlook for Cynical Snow Lovers who have been Slighted Too Many Times by the Empty Promises of Mother Nature”

Inappropriately Attired

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It’s that time of year again in the cooler parts of the country. The sun doesn’t seem as excited to rise as it did over the summer. The leaves, some of which are still holding onto their branches, seem a little worse for the wear. The morning grass is shrouded in a frosty coat. And ten-year old boys across the land insist on wearing shorts to school. Continue reading “Inappropriately Attired”

Neighbor-Resistant Plants for your new Fall Garden

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Are you sick of neighbors intruding on your idyllic backyard fall gatherings?  Annoyed at these encroachers for coming over, uninvited, to critique your poor design choices and to pilfer your beer?  Fear not, good citizens.  New fall landscaping can help prevent these unwanted visitors from ruining your favorite season.  No invading neighbors will intrude on your autumnal fire pits any longer!

*Authors Note: This piece is not in any way inspired by my actual neighbors.* Continue reading “Neighbor-Resistant Plants for your new Fall Garden”

Mosquitoes: A Field Guide to Understanding Mosquitoes on World Mosquito Day

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Mosquitoes.  Rightly feared, yet generally misunderstood, these jerks have been wreaking havoc on human beings since the dawn of man.  Yet, a simple understanding of their intentions and desires, can make co-existing with them, a far more manageable experience. 

Mosquito Fun Facts:

There are over 3,500 known species of mosquitoes around the world.  In scientific terms, that’s a lot!  Unfortunately, there are many unknown species as well.  As our civilization continues to deforest their natural habitats and as both global temperatures and water levels continue to increase around the world, we will eventually be feasted upon by an even wider array of species over time.  How exciting?!

Mosquitoes have been around since the Jurassic period and have been mentioned by many reputable people throughout history, such as in the philosophical musings of Aristotle and in the thought-provoking lyrics of pop sensation, Shakira.

Mosquitoes are often responsible for some of the most severe diseases (Malaria, Zika, and Dengue Fever) impacting human beings.  Also, no other insect can ruin a backyard party quite like they can.

Only female mosquitoes take blood meals from human beings.  They do this simply to lay their eggs, not to bother human beings, which is obviously just an unintended consequence.

Depending on your perspective, male mosquitoes are either totally useless or sort of respected for their narrow mindedness.  A female mosquito can beat her wings up to 500 times per second and the male selects the female with the highest frequency of beats to mate with.  Mating is basically all the male mosquito intends to do with his life.

Mosquito is Spanish for “little fly.”  In places such as Africa and Australia, mosquitoes are referred to as “Mozzies.”  Uninformed backyard party-goers refer to mosquitoes as “little biting dimwits.”  As usual, uninformed backyard party-goers are wrong because…

…mosquitoes don’t actually bite.  They don’t have teeth.  No, their method of extracting a blood meal from an unsuspecting human is far more creative.  Female mosquitoes numb the area and inject a serrated proboscis into human flesh, thereby drawing blood through a tube, leaving their victims angry and itchy as they fly off to make babies.

Mosquito species have impressive scientific names like Aedes aegypti and Culex pipens.  When referring to the various species by their scientific names, please use the correct naming structure, including the use of italics and the capitalization of the first word.  Knowing this will allow you to impress uninformed backyard party-goers at your next gathering.

In the United States, West Virginia has the fewest species of mosquitoes; Texas and Florida the most.  This information will never be useful to you.

Removing standing water in your yard, or paving over all remaining greenery, can decrease their populations.

Mosquitoes prefer teleworking and don’t fly more than a few miles, at most, for blood meals.

Don’t sweat the small stuff!  Mosquitoes are attracted to octenol (a chemical found in human sweat).  In the hot summer, avoiding rigorous outdoor activities such as moving and breathing, will greatly decrease your chances of being victimized.

The best way to avoid being attacked by mosquitoes is to stay inside until the first freeze or wear an insect repellent containing DEET.  You’ll smell terrible but at least you won’t get Dengue Fever.