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Friday, August 16, 2013

A Fly In The Night

Here we are again, three weeks after the monsoon rains and thunder storms and we are in the thick of fly season. And they are everywhere, especially if you have any kind of animals- dogs, cats, horses, llamas, alpacas, livestock, etc.

At our house we have dogs, cats and llamas. The llamas like most to hang around the house, though they have acreage upon which to roam. They hang out near the house- don't even venture down the hillsides where the sweet and tender bark and plant shoots are. Nope, they wait for their daily dose of 'four way' grains in a plastic dish and their staple- hay.

This concentration of animals creates a picnic ground for the flies. And those little flying creatures explore every animal that appears on the landscape. When I am outside working I have to remember to keep each bare skinned limb moving lest the flies find my flesh worth exploring. Once they land they often find that a sample bite is justified to see if I have begun to rot yet. There is some comfort in knowing I am not the only animal they want to survey. They do the same to the faces of the llamas and the dogs especially around their eyes and mouths.


Not to worry, though, in a few weeks they are gone. Where they go I have no clue, but they diminish rapidly leaving only a few of their numbers to sustain their presence and to remind us, who are not flies, that they are still here; still a presence in our lives and that they will return in force next year.

I have recently discovered that flies do not see in the dark. Not that I had ever been curious about the night vision of flies, but there it was. Evidence as solid as a stone wall. It was an accidental discovery I admit. I had turned out the lights with a fly or two in the room. One landed on my bear leg, which caused a tickling sensation which I felt compelled to rub. Viola! I ended up rolling the fly under my fingers and against the skin of my leg. The poor critter had failed to dash off into flight as they do when they can see.

It may seem odd, but I felt as though I had made a major breakthrough in my ongoing quest for fly knowledge. I had also defeated the usually elusive and dastardly fly. I had caught him, killed him without squashing his delicate body and had his carcass as a trophy. For just a fleeting moment I felt like a mighty hunter who had out smarted the enemy. I felt superior. Dominant and proud. Sadly, I fell asleep and in the morning he looked like just another expired fly. My proof of superiority had vanished in the morning light and I was again just another animal who found flies annoying.


Copyright 2013 by Richard McDonald


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