Monday, May 19, 2014
MONDAY FARM AND COUNTRY -- The Garlic and Blackflies
Now that it's half way through May, the only way I can work outside is with the full body armor, head and upper body netting, with tight collars at bottom and sleeves to prevent entry for the blackflies which invade at this time of year and swarm around faces and eyes and anything moist and heat giving. Their bites can inflict an amazing dose of toxins given their minuscule size, and the irritant can be so bad that infections develop and blood poisoning ensue. That's how bad they are. One of the confounding things about nature for many folks is the sheer itchiness of being outside in it. Why did God make blackflies and mosquitoes? That's easily one of the key questions to be able to answer for all the doubters in our offspring. For an answer just point to the sky at evening and the swooping blue and white arcs of gravity defying beauty known as swallows. Their aerobatics are more than just pleasurable, although they are surely that as well. It's feeding time for them all spring and summer long, payoff for the long trek up from Central American as they make nests and prepare for breeding. And the moist fields and swamps of New England provide the insect life they count on to live.