Warm weather has finally arrived here in Michigan and that means the mosquitoes are hatching. The pesky insects are emerging in swarms and Mosquito Control has taken to the skies, using crop duster planes to distribute a form of a bacterium that kills mosquito larvae. Since I live near an airport, in an agricultural area, I often get glimpses of crop dusters. Right now they are spraying for mosquitoes, but all summer long they can often be seen spraying fields. The planes’ powerful engines have a very distinctive sound that is instantly recognizable. The skill of the pilots as they fly just above the treetops and then execute stomach churning, banked turns amazes me. When I hear the engines I’ll often take a break from whatever I’m doing to watch the aerial acrobatic show for a while.
This weekend, as I waited for my coffee maker to brew my first mug of caffeinated elixir, I watched one of the planes spraying the area behind my house. Since we have a small pond in our backyard and there is a wet, swampy area in our neighbor’s backyard the plane passed directly over our house. When it was spraying our backyard I could actually see the pilot in the cockpit. That’s when inspiration struck.
I am plotting the first book in the Pine Lake series and I have a minor character that has been pretty indistinct. He’s a lawyer, but that’s about all I had figured out…until I saw the crop duster pilot. That minor character is going to be an airplane pilot. Probably not a crop duster, but that could be an interesting side job. I could also put an even twistier spin on this pilot idea and have him flying radio-controlled model airplanes instead. My son flies RC planes and it is a very interesting hobby. Like many hobbies, if you aren’t involved in it you really have no idea how diverse it is. I haven’t figured out everything about this character, yet, but I sure am glad I took a few minutes to watch that crop duster a few days ago. Inspiration can come at any time and you just never know what will provide it.