Boy, oh, boy, I sure do love the smells of spring: newly mown grass, meat cookin’ on a grill, clothes fresh from the line. Snow’s gone, trees are flowerin’, and it’s the time of year where you just want to get outdoors and do stuff! Sounds great, right? If you don’t take into account the flyin’ plague we have goin’ on here in Mahoosuc Mills. No, not locusts. I’m talkin’ black flies. Holy you-know-what! Pass the DEET, Batman, ‘cause that citronella crap just don’t cut it! It’s like an aperitif to the blood suckin’ hoards!
I mean to tell you, last week a swarm of black flies carried off Mrs. Ledoux’s chiwawa, Muffin. Well, that’s what Mr. Ledoux says. But come to think of it, he’s seemed mighty chipper lately. I guess he and Muffin had some kind of personality conflict, accordin’ to Mrs. Ledoux, who’s inconsolable.
Anyways, back to the black flies. When dealin’ with pesky varmints like these, it’s important to have the right gear. If you’re gonna go work in the garden or hang the clothes of the line, you gotta cover yourself up. I’m talking long pants tucked into your socks, long sleeve shirt, gloves and a bug helmet. Really! And, even with that, you still gotta spray yourself stem to stern with Deep Woods Off or the like. If you don’t have a bug helmet, put a bandana ‘round your neck, wear a hat and don’t linger!
As you can imagine, this is one heck of an attractive spring look. But sometimes, you gotta just man up and do what you need to do. Black fly bites are not very attractive either, and itch like no tomorrow. So I say, this time of year, rock your best self indoors, and do the full black fly camo gear outside.
When I was a kid, we’d just throw on a kerchief, cover our face with our hands and my mom would spray every inch of us with bug dope. Which you know was loaded with all kinds of yucky stuff. Still, I remember a time when I had to get a pixie haircut ‘cause I had so many black fly bites on the nape of my neck. It was the only way we could deal with it. And believe you me: that’s just not an option anymore. I crossed the pixie hair cut bridge a long, long time ago. Nowadays, I wear a straw hat under my bug helmet, and accessorize with a perky shade of lipstick and some cute earrings. I call it my “Downton Abbey” look, (from the neck up, anyways). From the neck down, I’m doin’ the full Mainer.
Still, for that smell of newly tilled earth, barbequed pork or sheets fresh on the line, I’ll do what I have to do, fashion be damned! Besides, before you know it, black fly season will be over. Then, we’ll have to deal with them other pesky invaders: the tourists!
That’s it for now. Catch you on the flip side!
Lot’s of great stuff coming up this summer. Check out my newly updated schedule at http://www.idaswebsite.com/
And if you’d like me to do a reading at your library, organization or what not, please don’t hesitate to drop me a line: [email protected]
And if your book group wants to read Finding Your Inner Moose, I’d love to be part of the discussion. Especially if food’s involved.