A little while ago, I realized that I had taken hardly any pictures recently. Therefore, my blog was sorely lacking any new visual interest. Today was sunny, dry, with blue skies and a few puffy white clouds - perfect for photo ops. But in a moment of Puritanical/Roman Catholic logic, I felt I should do a little yard work first. Then I could “reward” myself by wandering around the spruced up yard, taking some photographs.
Truth be told, the yard had taken on the look of a jungle. Weeks of precipitation will bring about a rain forest effect. And everything had benefitted from this unusually wet summer. So I convinced Chuck to join me in this plan. Misery loves company and all that. We began with a rose bush that had been slammed in a recent storm and was splayed in an ungainly, unattractive and worrisome way. By “we” I mean Chuck donned the heavy work gloves and wrestled with the thorny canes, while I wrangled two rakes to lift the roses up at a safer, less prickly distance.
Chuck did a great job. I got swarmed. Not by bees, but by mosquitoes. As I gingerly stepped into the wildly overgrown flower bed in front of the rose bush, I disturbed something. I was wearing a pair of shorts, not my usual bundled-up-against-the-ticks-and-skeeters gardening ensemble. No, I had been seduced by the lovely weather. I felt something on my legs and glanced down. At first I thought they were seeds or petals or leaves. Then some of them moved. Still holding two rakes to help keep thorn filled, woody canes from crashing down and nailing Chuck, I began a running commentary on what was running through my mind. “Something’s on my legs!” “Ow!” “What the heck is that?” “Oh $#&@!” “I think it’s mosquitoes!” “Chuck!” “I need to drop one of the rakes!”
(In my own defense, let me point out that here in New England, we have all manner of unpleasant insect worries. Ticks carry Lyme Disease. Mosquitoes are responsible for the spread of West Nile Virus and Eastern Equine Encephalitis. To aid in my prosecution, I had absolutely no business being out in shorts, with no insect repellant on.)
As the mosquitoes continued to land and bite, despite my vigorous one-handed slapping, I finally had to abandon the other rake and my post. Knees to ankles I received better than two dozen mosquito bites - all of which stung like crazy. I’ve never felt that sensation before, but I’ve also never received that many bites at one time. You’d think that a half century of living would lead to an increase in my common sense. Obviously, not so much.
And that, Dear Readers, is why I have no photos to share with you today.
Good news? Chuck went on to make significant improvements on the yard, was bitten by nary a skeeter and was impaled by only one small rose thorn.