Wednesday, June 12, 2013

So It Pays To Complain?

Mother Nature must have heard my sad lament in this morning's post regarding our lack of warm weather in these here parts.

Our high temp today (are you ready for this?) hit 76° . . . IN THE SHADE.  It must have been at least 80° in the garden.  At least.

Unfortunately, the heat and humidity caused an explosion of our first hatch of the dreaded black flies.  We knew it had to happen and we've been almost giddily (did I just make up that word?) enjoying our bug-free time so far this year.

In a normal year, the pesky black flies first make an appearance around the middle of May.  They bite with a sting that causes one to smack one's self on one's body where contact is being made so hard it about knocks one off one's feet.  (No foolin'.  Their bite is that hurtful.)  So we've gone a whole month longer into the season this year without having to do battle with the black flies.  Until . . . dum-da-dum-dum . . . today.

They appeared in swarms.  Squadrons.  Battalions.

I started work in the garden wearing an old light, white shirt which was soon nearly covered with their hateful little black bodies.  Since most biting insects are attracted to light colored clothing, I changed into a dark, long-sleeved shirt buttoned all the way up to my neck.  This apparently was the signal for those darn buggers to attack my head.  In the ears, up the nose, in the eyes.  Yeeeow.  I couldn't stand it so gave up and put on a hat and head net.


Too bad I didn't let Papa Pea take a close-up shot.  I was indeed the fetching figure swathed in long pants (sweating), the long-sleeved, dark shirt tightly buttoned with collar up (sweating), a baseball cap and head net (sweating), and gloves (sweating) as any exposed skin was fair game for the blood-thirsty varmints.

Papa Pea was mowing the poultry pasture and I was using the gathered grass clippings to mulch under the fruit trees.  'Twould have been nice for both of us to throw in the towel and work inside today but the pasture had grown to such a height that our birds were getting lost in it.  So we both toughed it out to finish the job while trying to ignore (ha!) the black flies and just about literally being able to watch the plants in the garden grow.  "Warmth!  Sunshine!" they shouted.  We could almost hear them jubilantly reveling in the good growing weather.

Could all this possibly mean summer time has finally arrived in the north woods?

21 comments:

Akannie said...

Same thing happened here too...chilly and very wet to 97 degrees ...all in the course of about 5 days. HUnkering down for a storm that's probably coming your way now...supposed to hit Milwaukee, chocago...which means we'll be well south of it.

Lorie said...

Yes, flies generally mean summer is a commin!

Tombstone Livestock said...

Sounds like you need to build some fly traps, gallon jars or window screened box ... soon.

tpals said...

Have you tried those solar fly traps mentioned by the Bee Haven Acres blogger?

Amy Dingmann said...

Oooh...could it be...SUMMER? It would almost be awesome if those black flies weren't buggin' your fetching figure. ;)

Carolyn said...

Blood sucking, biting black flight, eh? My scorpion bite doesn't seem so bad now, does it? At least it's over with & I doubt the black flies are in the slightest bit finished snacking on you! Yumm, yumm Mama Pea for supper!

Stephanie said...

Oh those little black buggers like me too. Sorry you had to sweat, but so very glad you got some warm weather and sunshine!! Miss you oodles Mama Pea!!!

Susan said...

I hadn't thought of that! They do not munch on us while it's raining! Still, I'd rather don the head net and body suit just to be dry. I'm hoping my whining will have the same effect, and we'll have more seasonal temps soon. You look rather fetching in that outfit, Mama Pea.... :)

2 Tramps said...

Poor Mama Pea - always something to challenge you there! We don't have those nasty things - they would have the life sucked out of them by our high desert dryness! We do have rattlesnakes, scorpions, ticks and black widow spiders - is that a fair exchange??

Mama Pea said...

Akannie - We were kinda watching that storm, too, but apparently it didn't come anywhere near us. Thankfully! Hope you had no bad weather either.

Mama Pea said...

Lorie - Yep. I think that may be one reason I like winter so well . . . no biting bugs or ticks!

Mama Pea said...

Tombstone Livestock - Boy, we sure need something! The good thing (if there is a good thing) about the black flies is that unlike mosquitoes they don't like to be in a house . . . so we can escape from them when we come in.

Mama Pea said...

tpals - I may have to check those out. Only problem is we have things to do out in the garden, in the orchard, in the berry patches, in the wood working area, in the hay field, etc., etc. So I don't see how we could install enough of the solar fly traps to do much good.

Mama Pea said...

Amy - Fortunately for my blood supply, most days they aren't nearly as bad as they were yesterday. Early in the morning and toward dusk, yes, but not during most hours of the day.

Mama Pea said...

Carolyn - Yeah, for supper . . . and breakfast and lunch, too! I've always (even as a kid) attracted every biting insect within 10 miles of me. I think I got that from my dad who was super-allergic to stings and bites. I'm glad I'm not that bad anyway.

Mama Pea said...

Stephanie - They like us 'cause we're so sweet. (That's my story and I'm sticking to it.)

Thank you, m'dear!

Mama Pea said...

Scary more than fetching, I'm afraid.

Hang in there, Sweeze. Your rain simply cannot last all summer. (Can it??)

Mama Pea said...

2 Tramps - Yepper, they definitely are worse when the humidity is high.

Just curious . . . in your area do you hear of many incidences of people getting bit by rattlesnakes?

2 Tramps said...

Yes, there are usually several incidents each year. It generally happens when someone is hiking or fishing but has also happened on a golf course - don't reach into the tall grass for a lost ball!! We haven't seen one on our property but we know they are here - saw a dead one just down the road a bit and neighbors have reported seeing them in their yards. Right now they have all come out of their dens and are seeking their hunting grounds for the summer and of course, there are new babies, too. Tramp 1 has snake nightmares sometimes! While we don't enjoy having mice, at lease when we do have mice we feel we don't have snakes!

nancy said...

You should attach a portable bug zapper to your hat!

Mama Pea said...

Nancy - Wouldn't it be wonderful if there were such a hat you could purchase and wear? I'd invest in several!!