Bzzzz..zip buzzzz..zip..zzziip...zppbbbzzz...For ya'll in the country, you're familiar with this sound. If you spend ANY time outside (and this can include only walking to the mailbox and back), you know what this is. A little stealthfighter shaped flying object that sets the fear of attack into your heart ...bbzzzzzz...zip...bbbzzzzzzz....zip...SLAP!
As a country girl, who has only recently been relocated to the country from much larger places, I had forgotten just how horrible the deer and horse flies are this time of year. Okay, forgotten may not be the correct phrase for it, more like had blocked it from my memory. I spent a good deal of my youth up to my eyeballs in horses and the woods, so I'm certainly no stranger to these menaces. When we used to go trail riding, we would snip off branches from oak trees and use them as fly swatters on the horses. These horrid flying miscreants love the spot right behind the horses ears where they could latch on and there wasn't much the poor horse could do to defend itself, not having hands and arms and all. Then, proceed to take a chunk the size of a pencil eraser out of whatever it latched on to. And it hurts like the dickens.
This morning I went for a walk at the lovely hour of 5:45am. Many of you that live here don't need me to tell you that New England is in the middle of a fairly serious heat wave/drought. It's the first week of July and all the grass is brown, there are no fire permits being given and the situation is tenuous. I've been doing secret rain dances by the light of the moon. But that's another problem all together. Back to the "lil' bastards" as I affectionately call them. I have been doing my walking on the treadmill of late as I'm trying to do a whole fitness program and all, but this morning I got up and felt like enjoying the relatively cooler temps of the first light of day. Strapped on my walking shoes sitting on the front porch, where I should have gotten the indication of how the rest of that walk would shape up right then. I was not out there for more then 30 seconds when the first kamikaze held me in his sights and started the relentless fly by. I ignored it and started on my way. Our next door neighbors have horses and so we get a few more bugs then the normal home may have and I don't like to judge a forest for its mini fighter pilots until I'm in the thick of battle.
I have a two mile loop that's nice to walk, so thought I'd start my day off this way. As I turned off the main motor speedway onto the relative quiet of the side road, the buzzing was already in full force. They were coming at me from every direction, had to have been 100 or more. Well...okay, maybe only about 10, but the 100 is more dramatic for the story. One thing I do know, when these things are attacking, it takes quite a few passes at very high and loud speed before they will actually try to land. Then, it's a touch and go for a few times, just to see if you're gonna make a go at annihilation. Then it's a tangle in the hair as the head is the only thing not in motion at the clip I was walking. They love to go for my husband's "less hair spot" (we'll not call it a bald spot in respect for his feelings, okay? Work with me here). I keep my hair in a pony tail now that it's long enough and this way I can do what horses very effectively do with their tails. I swish them away. Only problem is, I'm sure I look like a total idiot walking along swinging my head violently from side to side. In the moment of the dead heat of battle, you just don't care.
I also know that if you swing your arms like a crazy person, swatting away at them, you WILL call their friends. If you've ever done this, you know what I mean. They are attracted to movement and the faster and more frequent the movement, the larger swarm you're gonna call. I have a practiced way of handling them, that takes patience and planning. Wait for the sszzzZZZZZZzzzz.....sszzzZZZZZzzz...sszzzZZZZZzzz as they are buzzing all around you. You'll get the mmbzzzmmmzzzzbbb..ZZZZzzzz a few times as they get tangled in your hair for that touch and go I talked about earlier. WAIT! Don't get too eager and swat at them yet, or you'll have to endure another round of the whole buzzing around you and touch and go before you'll have a good shot. After a few of the hair mmbbzzzmmmbbles, you'll get your chance...patience.....patience....then they land for real and fast as lightening, you SLAP! and down he goes. Do NOT be fooled by the lack of movement for a moment. They are like zombies and will come back to life the second you step away from them, to haunt you again moments later. Just trust me on this one. Step on the lil' bastard for all he's worth. Nothing personal, but in the world of fighter jets and prey, sometimes, the prey's gotta win.
The discomfort of the walk went by quickly as I was so distracted by the lil' bastards that I didn't even notice that I could see the air with the humidity. When you have asthma, it's never a good day when that happens. Got out of that walk with only 3 bites, which will swell up soon and then the drive-you-to-distraction itching begins. But I got more then 15 with my MOD of fly death.
Score one for the chubby girl.
Wishing you zzzBBUUZZzz free walks, ~Peacemom