By the “great outdoors” I am actually referring to the “nasty-itchy-sweaty-run-for-your-life outdoors”. This spring the bugs are truly awful. Every time I venture outside I get the feeling that I’m being hunted; sort of like I’ve been dropped straight into an episode of The Walking Dead or some other zombie/vampire-type situation.
It used to be that a person was safe to go about their business during the heat of the day without having to dip themselves in a vat of toxic chemicals. I feel that Mother Nature tried to level the playing field by making sure mosquitos avoided our prime working day hours and only came out to torment us at dusk when we can run inside to hide. Places like sand rings, with their baking heat and unforgiving desert like qualities could always be counted on to repel all biting bugs for the better part of the day. I’m not sure why, but I don’t think the bugs got that memo this year!
At first I thought that maybe it was just me and my farm. I figured it was possible that we were bearing the brunt of the mosquito population because of our close proximity to Goose Lake which, let’s be clear, should have been named Goose Swamp for it in no way bears any resemblance to the sparkling image that comes to mind when anyone pictures any lake!
But having informally surveyed every person I’ve come in contact with over the past few weeks, I’ve been surprised to find that everyone is battling the buggy bastards this spring!
Having just wrapped up the most aggravating, cold, endless winter EVER, I mistakenly figured that all the mosquito larva would have been obliterated, buried beneath a frozen tundra of ice and snow. No such luck! The excessive cold seems to have spawned a superior strain of super bug and they’re out with a vengeance. As bad as the days seem, the nights are worse! To be stranded outside as the sun goes down is a living hell. Every night I embark on a crazy race to get the horses out of the paddocks and into the barn in before the bloodlust begins. Trying to corner and catch a bunch of hysterical, panicked, wild eyed horses that are frantically running for their lives is shear lunacy and should not be attempted by anyone, ever!
So far I’ve missed the mark a couple of times and only narrowly escaped with my life. I’m no idiot and I’ve learned my lesson. Now, no matter what I’m doing, no matter how important the task, I drop it exactly one hour before dusk and make a mad dash out to the paddocks to rescue the horses. The neighbours probably think I’m the most dedicated horse woman alive as I charge around the paddocks at break neck speed gathering up all my precious ponies, but they’d be wrong. I’m just trying to stay alive.
I used to wonder how people could relate to those ridiculous TV shows about the survivors of an apocalyptic world but having spent the last few weeks dodging massive, blood sucking bugs from hell, I’ve come to realize I have more in common with them than I care to admit.