Mosquitos and Alaska in the summertime- two things that go hand in hand.

The way our survey worked, we had to walk along a survey route and stop every 250 meters and record all of the bird species (and individuals) that we heard during a ten minute period. This photograph shows all of the mosquitos that I killed during one ten minute period.

Here's an excerpt from my travel journal where I wrote about the mosquitos: "We hiked about 250 meters into the swamp and started our first ten minute point count. As soon as we stopped moving, I felt my skin begin to crawl. I glanced down at my watch to note the starting time and saw that mosquitoes were so thick between my jacket sleeve and my glove that the mosquitos were drilling my wrist through the holes in my watch band. I slapped the mosquitos on my wrist and then the one that landed on my nose. Looking up, I saw that the mosquitos were thick clouds around our heads. They buzzed in our ears, flew down our shirt collars and up our sleeves. Occasionally, they even tried to go up my nose. Dan and I were so busy slapping bugs that from a distance, I'm sure we looked like we are acting out some kind of obsessive compulsive disorder."

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Text and all photographs Copyright © 1999 Matthew Gerbrandt
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Revised -- October 17th, 2001