A little boy standing in the middle of a humongous swarm of insects and even seem to be having fun doing it! We definately wanted to learn more about that and asked our photographer  Jana Mänz to tell us about the situation and how this scenery occured.

© Jana Mänz/Westend61

What kind of insects are buzzing around the little model there? How did that scene take place?

avatar_JanaWell, I am deeply in love with the island of Rügen. As a nature- und landscape-photographer I keep going back there to capture the nature during all seasons.

In wintertime I had already taken wonderful pictures in the nature preserve of Mönchgut right by the Bodden, so the following spring I just had to go back to exactly the same place. This nature preserve truly deserves its name, because every time that I am there something absolutely extraordinary happens. In wintertime these wonderful swansongs on the baltic sea that even now bring tears to my eyes. And later in springtime a natural spectacle that I had never experienced before: non-biting midges.

The non-biting midges, also called chironomids, appear in countless numbers right by the shore on the nutrient-poor-grassland. You couln´t imagine unless you´ve seen it yourself. Since these midges don´t bite and are not agressive in any way, you can stand right inside one of those swarms. Even now I am getting the chills remembering that situation. Everything around me was pitchblack und the humming sounds were undescribably loud. Once you are standing in the eye of one of those midgetornadoes you won´t be able to hear your own words anymore. My son was also totally excited about that, without fear or timidity he ran right into the swarm. Since the midges tried to crawl under the clothes he tried to shoo them away withhis arms. There it was: the perfect moment for me to take pictures. It was a wicked experience and we had a blast! on the horizon you could see a great number of midge-tornadoes that were dancing their way up in the airs.

The local people told us that those dancing-midges only appear for a few days each year. They are the basic food resource of the bank swallows who bring up their hatchlings in the chalk-cliffs of Rügen at that time of the year.

A narural spectacle that lasts only a few days every year. But that intensive that once you´ve seen it you will never forget.