Saturday, April 29, 2006

Fly away home

The weather just turned nice here recently. As I mentioned a couple of posts ago, we hauled out all the outdoor toys on Easter weekend and we've been playing outside as much as possible. (We even added a trash-picked Fisher-Price basketball hoop to our collection. Score!) Aside from being convenient, it means we get to bump into and chat with our neighbors more often. The other day my friend from one street away walked by with her kids in their little red wagon. Her son offered Jo a flower he'd found on the ground. (A few minutes later, she disappeared into the house. She'd decided that Tinky—her fish—would like the flower, so she was putting it into the bowl.)

Then, Thursday night, I read an article in our local paper about how the lake flies (OK, so the picture is from Africa; but it gives you a good sense of what's coming my way) were beginning to hatch. It said that the last few years had been pretty light, but this year wouldn't be. (What's sadder: The fact that this was front-page news, or that I read the whole thing, avidly?)

Sure enough, we woke up Friday morning to a smattering of flies perched on our window screens and buzzing around our backyard. Now, their numbers seem to increase every hour. I just counted 47 on only the lower half of the nearest window. Jo is horrified. Even though the flies don't bite or sting—they're just gross and annoying—she insists on arming herself with her Strawberry Shortcake umbrella each time she ventures through the backyard to the car.

The hatch only lasts a week or two and then we're safe until August; and playgrounds and friends' homes just a few blocks away from us are fly-free. But as for our own backyard: I think it's off-limits until the flies fly away.


mothergoosemouse said...

Ewwwwwww. I'm with Jo.

I still remember the bumper crop of locusts in 1987. It was enough to keep me out of the midwest during the summer of 2004.

What I want to know: what happens in August?

Mayberry said...

In August they come back!

Did you ever go through a gypsy moth infestation? Super gross. Big hairy caterpillars and if you step on one (or ride over it on your bike), which is unavoidable because they are all over the place, neon green goo shoots all over.