midgies at sunset at the Callanish Stones
In case you are wondering what the black smudges are, Alex made this pictures in a cloud of highland midgies.

I’m not kidding!! 

If you like to give this perfect and totally free animal therapy a try, my best advice is so go out camping in Scotland on a windless day with a bit of moisture in the air and wait for the sun to set. Just sit outside in a short-sleeved shirt and your face towards the sunset while sipping a nice cup of tea. Don’t go looking for the midge! The midge will find you when they are ready and the therapy will start. 

The midge will lovingly engulf you in a cloud of peers and will perform their very special group dance. As they kiss you, you will feel an itchy sensation on the skin or even feel some stinging or biting. That is all part of the therapy, just close your eyes and try not to scratch or wipe away your therapy animals. Tolerate the midge. Stay calm. Think Buddhist. Breath through the challenging feeling on your skin. Think of the midge as a successful animal in all of creation, so many years of bad press about them. People calling them a horrible pest, a reason for not going to Scotland for a holiday. But do they really deserve this bad press? Just think of all the missed opportunities to practice patience and calmness. It is all about changing your thoughts about midgies. 

meditation in the landscape
As you see, I’m practising calmness.

You know, it is scientifically proven that the heart rate slows and stress decreases when you pet an animal. They are the perfect cure for anxiety, depression and stress.

Like horses calm troubled children, rabbits, cats and dogs can be used used for cognitive, social, emotional and physical goals and to calm people in stressful situations.

midgies outside the tent
Midge outside of the tent

I know that midgies don’t have that cuddly look and they are way too small to pet. But they are excellent if you want to try to be more patient, give up trying to control everything around you and practise that Buddhist-like calmness. Midgies are absolutely the right therapy animal to achieve these goals.

I try, I really do. And have these thoughts for about 5 seconds when I end up in a cloud of midgies. Then I get aggravated, annoyed and end up in a panic and distress and all calmness and positive feelings of love towards midgies have totally left me. 

I don’t think I will ever be able to do the one-minute midgie challenge!! I still have to learn to love those little bloody buggers a bit more!!!

wearing a midgienet
The midgie net is my best friend and is always in my right trouser-pocket.

Charlotte Gannet

What are Midgies according to Wikipedia?

The highland midge (scientific name: Culicoides impunctatus; Scots: Midgie; Scottish Gaelic: Meanbh-chuileag) is a species of small flying insect, found across the Palearctic (throughout the British Isles, Scandinavia, other regions of Northern Europe, Russia and Northern China) in upland and lowland areas (fens, bogs and marshes). In the north-west of Scotland and northern Wales, the highland midge is usually very prevalent from late spring to late summer. Female highland midges are well known for gathering in clouds and biting humans, though the majority of the blood they obtain comes from cattle, sheep and deer. The bite of Culicoides is felt as a sharp prick. It is often followed by irritating lumps that may disappear in a few hours or last for days, depending on the individual.

Female midges tend to bite close to their breeding site (although they have been found up to 1 km away) and near to the ground. They are most active just before dawn and sunset but bite at any time of day. Midges are less active with wind speeds of over 6 mph (10 km/h), or humidity below 60–75%.

Dry cloudless conditions are unfavourable to midges, thus they are prevalent in humid, wet and cloudy conditions. Rain does not deter them, nor does darkness. However, they tend not to go into houses or buildings but will enter tents.

3 Comments

  1. The Cedar Journal on 16th May 2020 at 05:02

    Hummmm…. zen? I have to tell you, I would also not make the one minute midge challenge.😂

    • All Exclusive Cruises on 17th May 2020 at 13:01

      No, I think it is a hopeless case. We must admit when we are beaten as a human by mini insects. We will have to be smart and use repellents or midgie nets.

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