HENRY DAVID THOREAU AND MISSING THE MOSQUITO


Painting of Henry David Thoreau by Steve Simon (www.stevesimon.com)

ohDEER is the leader in all natural deer, mosquito, and tick control.

In 2017, we celebrate 10 years in business.

Through our corporate office and our franchisees, ohDEER services Central Massachusetts, Metropolitan Boston, Southeastern Massachusetts, Cape Cod and the Islands, Eastern Long Island, and Central New Jersey.

The mosquito, one of ohDEER’s foes, is a life form for which almost every human on the planet holds no love lost.   Mosquitoes spread disease; they bite and irritate our skin.

Now, okay, mosquitoes are a source of food for some animals, and they do help pollinate plants – but broadly and mostly and the whole mosquitoes are not good.

There has been at least one person, though, who holds a smidgen of affection for mosquitoes.

That would be the writer and naturalist Henry David Thoreau, who lived in the Concord, MA, which is a couple towns over from Wayland, MA, the home of ohDEER.

To students of Thoreau, his affection for the little fly is not surprising, for HDT found something to like in almost all of the natural world.

ohDEER commends – and this all ties to HDT and the mosquito – an article, titled, “Walden Wasn’t Thoreau’s Masterpiece: In his 2-million-word journal, the transcendentalist discovered how to balance poetic wonder and scientific rigor as he explored the natural world.”, written by Andrea Wulf, and published in the November 2017 edition of The Atlantic.

In the article, Wulf writes –

“Thoreau’s real masterpiece is not Walden but the 2-million-word journal that he kept until six months before he died. Its continuing relevance lies in the vivid spectacle of a man wrestling with tensions that still confound us. The journal illustrates his almost daily balancing act between recording scrupulous observations of nature and expressing sheer joy at the beauty of it all.”

An excerpt that Andrea Wulf shares from Thoreau’s journal, which we re-share here, is HDT’s lament of the approach of winter (appropriate to cite on the first day of December) and the dearth of life activity around him – with that missing life including the mosquito:

“The landscape is barren of objects – the trees being leafless – and so little light in the sky for variety.  Such a day as will almost oblige a man to eat his own heart.  A day in which you must hold on to life by your teeth. You can hardly ruck up any skin on nature’s bones. The sap is down – she won’t peel … Truly a hard day, hard times these. Not a mosquito left. Not an insect to hum.  Crickets gone into winter quarters. Friends long since gone there – and you left to walk on frozen ground, with your hands in your pockets.”

 Not a mosquito left.  Not an insect to hum. 

Missing the mosquito.  Leave it to Henry David Thoreau.

And, because it is Henry David Thoreau, perhaps we can give this liking for the mosquito a pass.

Then again …

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