The wholesale slaughter in which these insects' profligate numbers and apparent witlessness compelled me to engage was distasteful to me and, I'm sure, worse by far for the gnats. Thus have we both benefited by the weather's moderation. Or, rather, I assume that we both have benefited. In fact, I have no idea what has become of the gnats. Perhaps the decline in temperature has driven them to huddle in little gnat heaps where they suffer the agonies of gnat ague or gnat chilblains.
But I, at least, have benefited, and not merely because I am no longer being pestered by insects and no longer act as their executioner. The house is now more comfortable, Sluggo slightly better behaved, and when I go outdoors I find the night refreshingly cool, and am able to enjoy the sight of the stars and the soft chirps of the crickets without being distracted by clothing uncomfortably pasted to my skin by sweat. To further enhance the night, I was visited by a young raccoon who I first heard rustling the leaves of the wild plum bush, and who I then startled when I shone my flashlight in his direction. The creature had been moving toward me along the walk and, at the sight of the light, did an abrupt about face and scurried back into the brush. It may have been his first sighting of a nocturnal human. If he revisits this block, he will soon grow accustomed to me, as have his older fellows who often lumber across my lawn in plain sight, giving me no more than a cursory glance.
Also, I had a tasty pluot for a late night snack, full of spring sunshine and the cool waters which flow down from the mountains to irrigate the valley orchards. It was very sweet. I have sufficient reason to be well pleased with this night.