Friday, April 20, 2012


We haven't been going outside much these days.  There are these terrible swarming insects floating near the house in clouds.  They are infuriating.  Every time I inhale I seem to find one in my teeth.

As prolific as they are, these bugs aren't biting - just swarming.  I don't know what they are, though.  I don't remember them from last year.  They're small - but bigger than a blackfly.  Smaller than a mosquito.  A mosquito baby?  Who knows. 

I don't like bugs. They irritate and they frustrate. They needle and annoy and itch.

Deerflies top my list for plain awfulness when it comes to biting insects.  One can almost imagine that they have a thought process from the way they stalk a person.  Last summer, out running, I was chased by a literal cloud of deerflies when I dared to jaunt down a more heavily forested road.  Mistake.  I haven't run that fast since.

Blackflies are pretty terrible, but are generally short lived.  After a few hot, sunny days, they are typically gone.

Mosquitoes I find tolerable.  I do know, however, that in more heavily forested areas they can be unbelievably thick.  I remember a camping trip I took in Algonquin park many years ago.  The mosquitoes made a grey haze in the forest.  I cold swipe my open fist through the air and grab them.  It was unreal. 

I often think of pioneers or voyagers and explorers when I complain about bugs.  I can't imagine navigating the Canadian wilderness in the spring and summer in the thick woods with their onslaught of biting insects.  It must have been enough to drive a person mad.

I think we need the biting insects, though.  I'm not talking about in the ecological sense (although that's true as well).  Bugs keep us real.  If there wasn't the worry of bugs, the threat of being bothered or bitten or getting itchy, we might be lulled into thinking we live in some sort of paradise.  Last summer I was enjoying lunch on the deck overlooking the lake.  The sun as shining; the lake sparkling.  It was a perfect day.  And then it got me.  Something bit my ankle and my foot and lower leg swelled and throbbed for the rest of the day.

Nothing is ever perfect.  The bugs just want us to remember that.

1 comment:

  1. Deer flies annoy me, mosquitoes make themselves be known but spending a 10 hour day working outside during Black Fly season will humble you to tears. When you go back in to clean up and strip off your clothes to see the damage done. Blood everywhere and red itchy skin everywhere. Nothing stops them, not even a screen.