Archive | July, 2013

More On Fishflies, Underwear and the Pagan Slap-Dance

31 Jul
Fishflies Swarming at Night

Fishflies Swarming at Night

People have been asking how fishflies get in your underwear. The short answer is “I dunno.” (Visual image spoiler alert) All I do know is that when I strip down before coming back into the house – on the orders of S-S – they are there. In case any of you think that might be kinky with little bodies wiggling and jiggling south of the border then think again. It’s also not much fun being semi-naked on the deck doing the equivalent of a pagan slap-dance. Then it’s off to the showers since I also now have a few extra creases and folds for them to hide in. Needless to say fresh underwear is now in order. This is probably more information than you wanted to know but that is the problem with asking the question in the first place. The truth is sometimes ugly, not me, just the truth.

Enjoy the picture of the fishflies swarming at night. Nocturnal plague!

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Fishflies, Enough Already

30 Jul

What gives? Here we are in the 3rd week of fishflies! Usually they come in late June or very early July and are gone in a few days. This year it’s like Chinese water torture! Everyday they keep on coming back and back and back. Going outside is almost impossible. Trapped by a host of horny insects. They swarm, they attack, they smother, they coat they crunch, they smear. They even get in your underwear. (Hmm, that almost rhymes.) Where was I?  Some friends came for supper over the weekend. As their car pulled into the driveway, yes that infamous driveway, the swarm was like a biblical plague of locusts, almost darkening the sky. Cleaning them off is guaranteed to create a thick, indelible smear. When the surface is light-coloured they smear as blackish-brown but when the surface is dark they smear as light yellow-white. I don’t know how they know how to do this. I do know it will mean extensive siding, deck and window cleaning when they have finally departed after their orgy. Mexico is looking really good right now!

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I’m disappointed in Brute. He’s been hiding out in the shed during the infestation. Something about being a vegetarian and only doing grass and weeds, not animal-life forms, even if they are stupid life forms. Fortunately the grass has gone dormant; however, small poplar trees are trying to gain a foothold on the lawn. The entire lawn is covered with a jiggling,vibrating mat of brown bodies.  I don’t think Brute realizes the next time we mow he will be mulching these same stupid pests before his blade even begins to suck up grass; that when his wheels and underside are thickly coated in  twitching and dying bodies he will begin to smell like a fish factory. And guess who he will expect to clean him off. Why can’t he be calm and rational like me?

Fishflies: Dracula’s Castle or Hallowe’en in July

16 Jul
Fishflies and Cobwebs, just a sample framing the house

Fishflies and Cobwebs, just a sample framing the house

It’s that time of year again. Fishfly season. The time when spider webs and hordes of fishflies combine to create effects right out of horror movies, thus the Dracula’s castle effect. Cobweb/fishfly patrol and clearing becomes a daily routine, especially when company is coming. The pests come once every year – the flies that is, not the company –  and last for a week or two. They used to come earlier in early July but lately have been coming more mid-month. They are a pest. They are quite stupid but they are still a pest. Some local wags like to scare visitors calling them Manitoba mosquitoes. Surprisingly quite sophisticated people actually believe this. It doesn’t really help Manitoba’s mosquito-plague image though. Technically the bugs are harmless but keep reading for what they do to the mind.

They arise from the lake in swarms and cling to anything that is vertical. That includes walls, windows, doors, trees, blades of grass and people. Anything outside on the deck is uncomfortable. Mowing is impossible since they rise like one of the biblical plagues, in brown swarms, clinging to anything, including yours truly. One of their favourite tricks is to fly between my glasses and my eyes and to stay there, flapping their wings, and twitching their bodies and ovipositors. Eventually, in about a second my sight is gone. Mowing stops to clean my glasses. I then start the mower, resume mowing, two seconds later eyeballs coated with fishflies, stop mowing. Repeat until I realise how foolish this stop-start process is and call it a day. Stupid fishflies have won this round! Stupid me sometimes takes an hour to realise the exercise in futility. I don’t think this is my fault though. I think the flies transfer some of their stupidity to me by some magical or chemical process.

Fishflyus Nuisanscus quazillionus

Fishflyus Nuisanscus quazillionus

They get everywhere inside the house usually piggy-backing one one’s clothes if one is foolish enough to go outside. Months later we will find their corpses in closets, drawers, bookshelves. Cleaning them is tricky. If they are fresh and alive they make a thick, black, greasy, smear when wiped up. The smear is semi-permanent. The buggers also moult leaving dessicated shells hanging on everything. When they die one understands why they are called “fish”-flies. They stink like dead fish, adding a coastal, nasal hum to the atmosphere.

This year is not considered a “bad” year. No need to shovel them off the sidewalks and out of the doorways. Their numbers are considered a sign of a healthy lake. Hmmm. I’m getting mixed feelings about cleaning up the lake.

Sunsets, Sunsets, Sunsets and More Sunsets

12 Jul

I  have a problem.

Whenever I go anywhere it seems 99% of my photos are of sunsets. Perhaps I need to join a support group such as Sunsets Anonymous. People occasionally figure into the subject matter but can be, and often are, ugly, at least according to them. Sunsets, never! Sunsets never complain nor tell you to delete the image. Sunsets just are. If you are interested in forming a SA support group let me know. but don’t expect me to reply too quickly. I have to go out and enjoy the sunset.

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Here is a gallery of images. Maybe next time I can get the number of sunsets down to 95%. No need to rush things. But I do intend to indulge in every travel cliché possible. Am I contradicting myself? Life is so complicated when you are retired.

Tonight’s sunset was great but the bugs! I feel another blog coming on.