Friday, March 30, 2012

Been Busy

The weather has finally been good enough for us to get some ballooning in. We have a flight tomorrow morning than pack up and head to Buda Texas to do a tether for a school.

I've noticed a bunch of these dang Crane Flies around the house.

Here's a little info about these guys. I learn something every day.

— An abundance of wet weather trailing Texas' long drought has the bugs out and about.
Crane flies — those large, spindly flies flapping about for the last couple of weeks — feast on decaying plant matter, and the state's recent weather patterns have left a feast for the flies. This year, there have been more crane flies — also known as mosquito hawks, mosquito eaters and mayflies — than usual, and they've been sticking around longer, officials say.
The flies aren't the only critters surfacing with the rain. A number of insects feed on rotting plants, and this year's wet weather has helped dying plant life decay — hence the abundance of bugs. Fire ants and mosquitoes are likely to turn out in big numbers too, officials say.
The crane flies, which look like oversized mosquitoes, have been flapping around homes and floating their way into dwellings for at least a couple of weeks — already as long as their usual annual springtime appearance.
There's nothing to worry about with crane flies, though, said Wizzie Brown, an entomologist with the Texas AgriLife Extension Service. Most of the flies don't even have mouths, so they can't bite (making it a myth that they prey on mosquitoes). The variety with jaws eats nectar. Most flies do all of their eating as larvae, when they feed on rotting plant matter.
Brown said a lot of people have asked her if there's a certain bug spray they should use to kill the flies.
No, she said. "You can just let them do their thing."
For crane flies, whose tragic romance of a life lasts a few weeks at most, that "thing" is to mate ... and promptly die.
Brown said the crane flies will probably be around for only another couple of weeks.
For those who can't wait out the deluge, she suggested a fly swatter or vacuum cleaner.
This year's rise in rains will also probably bring out fire ants soon too, Brown said. The ants follow the water table and burrow when things are dry. They come back to the surface when the soil is more moist.
Mosquitoes will probably also be a problem this year. The bugs swarm around standing water, and that's just what the wetter weather leaves behind.