June 5th pictures: Freaky flies, rad rickey

Let me talk a little bit about yesterday. If I had to sum it up in one word, it would be F L I E S followed by tens of trillions of exclamation points (not depicted here). But not just any flies, the biting kind. I don’t know what they were, where they came from, or how long they live. What I do know is they hate me with a special kind of poison, and they woke up that morning vowing to make me eye-twitchingly, blood-boilingly, brain-explodingly insane. I was out in the fields planting in the morning — trying to, anyway, between swatting the flies away — and was moderately shattered when I learned that I needed to stay down there and weed the beets. By that point, it was clear the tide of flies was steadily rising. They hid in the ditches, and you could actually hear the throng emerging from the leaves as you walked by. Unfortunately I was wearing shorts so my legs were an ample target, but I did have a sweater to put back on, hood and all, so that protected me somewhat. Of course, it also made me very warm, and murder-hungry. At any one time, I probably had about five or ten flies on me, while dozens buzzed around me. Deet didn’t help, as I was later told it wouldn’t, but I kept applying it because I didn’t know what else to do. At one point I ran out of swear words. I was thirsty, but there were another dozen or so flies on the lid of my water at any given time, most likely depositing gifts of fly vomit and untold other treasures, so I didn’t want to drink it. I left the farm dejected, angry, and mentally praising mosquitoes, yes mosquitoes, for not being half as terrible in this small part of the world as that dreaded, awful fly.

So then today there weren’t any flies at all. The crowds rejoiced. I rejoiced. I had a gin rickey in toast of a fly-free summer. The end.

And here’s one last early summery columbine for you:


16 thoughts on “June 5th pictures: Freaky flies, rad rickey

  1. I was not sure if I should like this post . . . seemed like I would be cheering for the flies.

    To make up for it, a joke.

    Time flies like an arrow . . . but fruit flies like bananas.

    That’s it; the only fly joke I know.

  2. Ugh. FLIES I relate. Before our mosquitoes awoke from their 2-yr slumber, there were the flies. Our biters were “no-see-um” variety, still in the gnat phase and they did BITE. Then just like that, they were gone. Thank goodness. Now it’s mossies, but they are easily managed with the propane-powered mosquito vac. Back to sitting outside without bother.

    Cheers. Happy weeding!

    • Wait, so you have mosquito-free years? What’s that like? I suppose other things come along to take this place on the scale of terrible.

      Also, never knew a thing like this vac existed. Wonders never cease. Maybe that’s what I need as the summer progresses.

      • Ours was due to severe drought — absolutely NO water in our 8-ft creek. I vouch for its success — it eliminates the biting females for a several hundred foot radius. Even our neighbors benefit from it a little. We live outdoors three seasons a year, so Blue Rhino is well worth the $$.

  3. Loved your description of the flies. It brought back memories of the horse flies we used to have up north. It seemed that every time we went swimming a horse fly would find us and no matter how often we swam underwater, it was always there when we popped up. They had some nasty bites. The gin rickey on the porch at sunset sounds wonderful.

    • That reminds me of my own most distinct horse fly memory — it was around water, too, only it was a pool. I was at a summer camp and they would pretty much dive bomb for you the moment you emerged from the water, just like you say. Nasty things!

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