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  • Writer's pictureRyder Lyne


May 31, 2022

It’s a beautiful May morning, pleasant enough to open the doors and enjoy cooler temps before the mercury climbs to near 100o today. I am enjoying my nephew’s comfortable guest casita in Central Phoenix, allowing me alone time and date nights with Mike. Writing from the back deck, I am calmed by the lush landscaping of the backyard. The old central Phoenix homes were built on large lots without the walls separating neighbors that would become popular in the suburbs. Air conditioning was primitive. Although situated in a desert, these homeowners were more concerned with heat management than water conservation, thus the yards contain lots of green. I don’t blame them. There is a noticeable difference in temperature between a thick grass surface and plain dirt or gravel.

The abundant green also allows breeding of mosquitoes as I was reminded when I opened the door this morning, greeted by a miniscule proboscis. In my suburban house, we often leave our screenless doors open with little concern for insects. Those pesky bugs are rare in areas built when water shortage became a reality and xeriscape became the norm. A few of them appear when the so-called monsoon season hits and humidity rises. Flies are more common, emerging when the temperature changes. Arizona flies tend to be slow, easier to corral than the hyped-up Midwest breed.

My first real encounter with mosquitoes in Arizona occurred one evening at a party celebrating some political whatever. The setting was a lovely home built along a canal. It was a mild evening with lights highlighting the small backyard and dock. Except.

Mosquitoes. Aha, that’s where they were hiding. I resolved then to never live on water in Arizona. After all, one of the advantages of dry heat is lack of human-attacking bugs. I had vowed that if I ever lived in the Midwest again, I would have a screened in porch. So add that to my list of reasons that I moved to Arizona. 

As I write, I begin to itch. All this talk of bugs. I inspect my bare legs below my hem of my capris. No bugs. Only dry skin. There’s that.

*As a side note, the history of canals in this area is quite interesting. Thank you, native Americans.

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