Sunday, July 18, 2010

They're here!

I must preempt my post with  a quick plea to the maker of SWAT, a fine product which has been great for me, since I  do not do well with fly masks and  really don't like flies. My one request, however: Could you please make a more ... uh... masculine color? Mother feels the pink stuff is easier to see, and better sticking than the clear. But I would really prefer another color. And someone tell Mother to stop using the "raspberry purple" halter! I always thought it was pink, anyway, and now that it is sun faded... this is ridiculous!!

Now, back to my originally planned post in its entirety...

It had been going so well. Sure there were the few biting green flies, and the occasional stable fly, and the little gnats that Mother's Swat has kept from even being a problem this year. But it was inevitable that THEY would come. The enormous, evil, beastly, black horse-eating flies. Mother saw the first one at our barn this morning. She says other barns have had them for a while, so I shouldn't complain too much.

Now, I must say, I hate these guys. When I first experienced them here in Ohio, I went stark raving mad anytime one landed on me. I have grown more accustomed to them in the next few years, and am now better able to cope.

Tips for evading the horrible bite of the enormous, evil, beastly, black horse-eating flies:

1. Run up to other horses in the herd, really, really close. Often the fly will select another, less mobile target.

2. If unable to dislodge through a friend, run, leap and buck to rid yourself. I've tried this one a lot, but it is not as effective as Tip 1. Also, be careful not to buck so high that you flip yourself over. I have never done this, but I get awfully close. Exercise caution with this technique on downhill slopes in particular.

3. If a human is handling you during an attack, do not perform Tip 2. This one was hard for me to learn. You should indicate to the human, quickly, where the fly is on your person. If they are not prompt, I say put Tip 2 into effect. Mother responds very promptly, so this has not been an issue for me.*

4. Mother's fly spray seems to keep them from actually starting to bite for a few seconds longer than without spray, giving you precious time to try to follow one of the other tips to rid yourself. So, Tip 4 is allow fly spray be applied to your person.

Really, the flies aren't bad here at Aunt Marilyn's mountain hideaway. The muck pile is far, far away, since they clean with the tiny green truckie/tractor thing and dump the manure on the back edge of the property. I was just hoping that those really awful flies had lost our address altogether. Ah, well.

*Your Question: What will the human do once you inform them of the fly's whereabouts?
Answer: They will swat at it, and then look about frantically and stomp. Sometimes there are decidedly fearful exclamations of glee or triumph. Sometimes they swat at the air. Do not be alarmed by their seemingly random flailings or the fact that they are hitting you or making scary noises, and ignore the murderous glint in their manic eyes... they are actually trying to hit the fly! It took me a long time to catch on to this.

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