Nature

Some flies in the mountains…

Flies of the Himalaya

Flies are not really the primary, nor even one of the secondary, or tertiary, attraction in the mountains, or any other landscape for that matter… mountains have a plethora of other visual and sensory treasures on offer anyway, the wide vistas, the exuberance of wind and water, reticent mammals and avifauna, crackling campfires and the milky way lighting up the nights, butterflies and bumblebees… for a large part, there is very little except nuisance that one can ascribe to flies, maybe except for those macros where one is bound to reconsider the pre-conceived notions…

Flies of Himalaya
Marsh flies (Sciomyzidae)

There are some bits on the mountain though, especially the shaded, damp woods or marshy nooks in meadows synonymous with their low buzzing drones, flitting blips on leaves and stems or tracing fractals on rocks, all in that split second… heck, butterflies seem so leisurely in comparison… those compound eyes seem to slow down time, they say, life in a perpetual state of slow motion… one way to make the most of an otherwise fleeting existence…

Flies of Himalaya
March flies (Bibionidae)

Huffing across a steep uphill, many a time ‘tis the drone of a fly accompanying one’s own heavy breath, a musical collaboration of sorts, humming bass against dry-mouthed pants… some go about inspecting laminas, then dive headlong into the breeze, making one feel like the slowest disposition in the surroundings, others just gang up in a group dance around whatever flower or dung pile they find…

Flies of Himalaya
Diptera (Unknown species)

They are thrifty, nifty recyclers, these flies, getting on by whatever scraps come their way, some are bloodthirsty too, though, and strictly feed on their own brethren… for almost all species are a microcosm of society in one form or the other… there is an intrinsic value of everything in nature so must be there in flies too, nothing much to write about… if butterflies are haikus then flies are limericks… more words, more rhyme, more comedy, but lesser metaphors…

Stonefly (Plecoptera)

In propensity of pollination, flies are as effective as the bees, but then they carry more diseases too… a pity one malaise could tip the scales against all other ecosystem services they labour to provide, yet such is life… flies don’t suffer from the Cartesian wound, happy to subscribe to the theory of competence without comprehension… when in the mountains, their drones are mostly decimated by the water and wind flowing through the massifs, but there are small pockets, even though reeking of decadence at times, where one finds them pausing, reflecting, regurgitating, mating… for someone whose lifespan doesn’t even last a season, they do leave behind a buzz…

Robber fly (Asilidae)

Musings on flies while hiking in the mountains…

Author: Parth Joshi

Allured by the outdoors, the author is made up in parts of that quintessential lost soul wreathing under the pangs of biophilia in a desk job, a wannabe elegist mostly ending up in dungeons of poetasters and an optimist waiting for the senility of the modern world to fade away while sampling shoots and leaves. In saner times, he has a keen interest in areas pertaining to tourism, history, agriculture and climate change, especially with respect to historical interpretations, emerging technologies and future livelihoods. An avid trekker, runner, cyclist, birder and photographer, he is more often than not found gloating over anything hinterland, on foot or over computer monitors, and fantasizing solutions that can foster inclusive growth and sustainable livelihoods for communities at the grassroots.

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