Tuesday, 29 July 2008


A BLACK-FLY (from NABFA website)

This picture is of a black-fly, obviously a lot larger than reality, being no more than 1/4 inch if that in size. If you have ever been to Northern Ontario you will know all about these pesky insects.

When we moved to Nipigon, Ontario I never realised, until the first time I was bitten what Richard meant when he said, "Just wait until you see the black-flies; I only hope you don't react to them like you do mosquitoes."

A mosquito will send me indoors for the bug spray, black-flies keep me indoors. They don't just sting, they bite and leave a bloody mess. They love to bite around your face, behind your ears; on your neck; at your hairline; before you know what has gotten to you, you are bleeding. They will bite anywhere that isn't covered. They swarm you just for being outside.

Anyway getting back to the first time I was bitten. Three bites; one very near my bottom lip; one at the corner of my eye; and the other one towards my ear, all on the left side of my face. Before I knew what had gotten to me my eye had swollen shut, my lip was so big I could barely talk and the whole side of my face was one swollen mess. Only three bites, within minutes of each other. Needless to say I headed for the Doctor's office. His verdict; "black-fly bites"; the remedy; antihistamines and don't go outside without a bug jacket on during black-fly season. I've heard so many times "they are gone by the end of July". I'm sorry folks but they are not all gone by the end of July.

I've tried to do as the Doctor instructed; wear a bug jacket, have you ever worn one of those things to work in the garden? They are hot and if you don't ensure it doesn't cling to your skin the black-flies still get to you. So unless there is a strong breeze outside I do not go out to work in the garden.

So why do I bring this pest up now? I've lived here for over five years, surely I've learned? Well no! Tonight there was a nice breeze and no heat and I thought it would be a great opportunity to be outside doing some weeding. I did not put on the bug jacket, there did not appear to be any of the pests about. Little did I know.

I had been out for maybe 10, 15 minutes at tops and I knew; just above my forehead in my hair one of those pesky flies had scored. That was it, in I go; straight to the bathroom to view the damage. Sure enough, before my very eyes the patch of red appears, then the rosy hue of my skin begins at the hairline slowly spreading down towards my eyebrows.

I've taken an antihistamine, to cut down the reaction; found the ''After Bite" and the ice pack; none of these truly work as the surrounding area will swell and stay that way for several days no matter what I do. Every so often I put the cold pack to the area just to cool things down. The itch won't start until sometime tomorrow, it will just pulsate, but it will come and last for a good week. The swelling will ease in a couple of days; but the lump at the actual bite site will stay for a good week with the itch and weeping sore.

So can you blame me for saying I don't want to live here anymore. I love to garden, to go for walks, to sit outside in the sun; non of which I am able to do here in Nipigon. So does anyone know of a good Lutheran Church that would love a strong confessional Pastor; and isn't in Northern Ontario in black-fly country; because I know a Pastor's wife who would love to have her husband move. Five years with black-flies is quite enough for me!.

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