So whatever happened to the whippoorwills? During late June in the late 70’s I would wade into the mystical Manistee River in Northern Michigan starting about 9 o’clock at night. This was the season for the “hex hatch” (hexagenia limbata) and I was hoping to hook some now lately-vulnerable large browns (salmo trutta) feeding on emergers and spinners alike. It was actually kinda spooky. As darkness gripped the river, beavers would glide by until they spied you and then spray your glasses with a frightening slap of the water with their big black pickle paddles. WHAP!!!!!!! It was easier if you saw them first. By now the air was full of the huge hex bugs, fish were on a feeding frenzy and up and down the river you could begin to hear the shrill repetitious “WHIP poor WILL”. According to the American Bird Conservancy these nocturnal birds are experiencing steep declines in parts of their North American range. I shined my light on a few and never saw one in daylight. Strange lookers., great orators! But the petulant prelude to it all was the massive dusk-induced invasion of the mosquito. Not the tiny western Nebraska variety either. BIG hummers. My Granddad once said he heard a pair humming about dragging him down into the swamp. One spoke up and hummed, “NO WAY, We do that and the BIG ones will get him”. They are absolutely relentless and come out by the bazillions. Hard to decide whether it was worse to breathe in the mosquitoes or breathe in that awful tasting Deet spray. Several 20-inch brown trout were faked out by my uncle’s ugly burly hex imitation on a large size 6 hook … a success much like the rare and unusual distant- drive down the middle of a fairway, and the decision was cemented. I’ll come back for more … and try all over again. So, I’ve been watching eagle nests on webcams … ( and today the ugly high aerie-imprisoned eaglet flaps its cumbersome and flightless infantile wings, not unlike looking a bit like the awkward flight-less ostrich wings, yet now separated only by several more weeks of waiting until they fill out and fly out and spread out their adolescent wings into great soarings. Absolutely Amazing! And, speaking of wings, just what ABOUT those mosquitoes.? I hate ‘em…all 2,000 species! (Guess that’s ONE good reason for cold temps and snow) I read that the mosquito’s proboscis has a protective sheath, 4 cutting lances (from coarse to fine), and 2 syringes (one to inject an allergen/anticoagulant… kinda like my plavix … and the other to pump out the victim’s blood) which left me absolutely dumbfounded in an angry awe. And their busy buzzy little wings…capable of many miles of flight during their month-at-most lifespan and the momma bug hums between a pitch of C and E-flat. Daddy’s pitch is much lower and barely audible. Grateful to God for creating other winged fowl like the martins, swallows and cedar waxwings!!!!! Talk about being fearfully and wonderfully made! I noticed that has tackled the age-old question, “WHY DID GOD CREATE MOSQUITOES?” ( and allow their rampant spread of awful disease. These pests are vegetarian for the large part, feeding mainly on nectar. The curse apparently turned the mosquito toward blood. I hate ’em (or did I already say that). Similarly, sin has hummed its way into our very life source. We’ve been bitten, smitten and doomed. Then … God sent his son JESUS as the perfect sacrifice for sin…requiring His own blood, the blood of the Unblemished and perfect Lamb of God not willing that any should perish. Thank you Jesus! Grateful too for my tree-stand Therma-cells and deet sprays.

PRAYER NUGGET: Luke 18:1 JESUS spoke a parable to them (His disciples), that men always ought to pray and not lose heart.

Panhandle and eastern Wyoming, on this cinco de Mayo, 2019…I love you and am praying for you.

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