Years ago I realized the folly in speculating about natural cycles. I am continually amused that folks presume to forecast a winter’s cold or a dry summer, or that as a result of some weather event there will certainly be fewer mosquitoes, ticks, or whatever in the next season. If a scorecard were kept, perhaps this would finally put an end to this nonsense.
I wonder for a moment why there are fewer swalllowtail butterflies in the garden today, when last year they were so numerous that I congratulated that finally I had gotten this gardening thing figured out. Of course, I had not discovered anything at all. Most certainly, the suddenly increased swallowtail population was not the result of anything I planted or any action on my part, but were a quirk of some combination of natural occurrences far too complex for my understanding.
Now that the butterfly issue has been left behind as irresolvable, the next dilemma is to determine whatever happened to the dragonflies. Again, a year again there were hoards buzzing about the large koi pond. And, earlier this summer the numbers were equally abundant. But, today there are few by comparison. Still, there are plenty of dragonflies in the garden as a whole, but the number patrolling the territory over this pond is greatly diminished. The result of fewer dragonflies is that the number of Tiger mosquitoes is greatly increased, and this, rather than fewer dragonflies, is the more notable issue.
While our homegrown mosquitoes are rarely a bother to me, the imported Tiger mosquitoes are a considerable nuisance. Their bite seems more painful, and there are more of them, particularly when there are fewer dragonflies. If I could figure a way to get the dragonflies back, the issue around the pond would be resolved to my satisfaction, even if other parts of the garden remained a problem.
I recall in the midst of the winter there were numerous forecasts that beetles and particularly stink bug populations would be greatly diminished after the long spells of freezing temperatures. In fact, I haven’t a clue about stink bugs or how they fared because we have few on our property. I suppose that birds or bats, or whatever it is that eats these bugs are the reason. I hear less about them, so perhaps the number is fewer.
Japanese beetles are never much of a problem in this garden, and perhaps this is due to our abundance of birds. Assuredly, I have done nothing to prevent beetles or any other bug, but it seems reasonable that a garden with food, water, and shelter for a variety of beasts will achieve somewhat of a natural balance. That is, until some entirely inexplicable event results in hoards of something or another.