The Little Black Fly

I was lucky enough to spend Mother’s Day with my Mom. My Sister-The-Youngest-Girl is staying with her Beau Bob at the moment while they renovate her kitchen. Beau Bob kindly let us come to stay for a night, and hosted a family celebration with my Mom, my two sisters and my niece and fiancé. My Mom and my niece also recently celebrated birthdays, so we honoured that occasion as well. We had a lovely time, Sister-The-Youngest-Girl cooked a wonderful roast beef dinner, and made a Black Forest Cake, gifts were given to Mom and my niece. My Mom and Sister-The-Middle-Girl took me to their garden and loaded me up with all kinds of goodies: a rhubarb plant, rhubarb to eat, dill plants, an oregano plant, garlic buds to plant, onions to plant, and green onions to eat. Attila and I enjoyed the green onions on Sunday night in our green salad. Garden vegetables are the best tasting!

My niece invited us to their place for muffins Sunday afternoon, they just purchased a house in the country. Their house is lovely, they are renovating, and the views are heavenly. It was a wonderful Mother’s Day.

Luna, from a dialup up connection in Amsterdam, sent a Mother’s Day email greeting, and Terra send a message in the morning, dropped off a card, and called via FaceTime in the afternoon so that we could talk to Sunny and Sky. Sunny is standing by herself for brief moments now, and is so delighted with herself. Sky is beginning to crawl, and to move from a crawl into a sitting position, and once accomplished, he flashes a heart catching joyful smile.

The drive to visit my sisters and my Mom is not really such a great distance, but it does involve passing through the city of Toronto. This adds an hour or more to the journey, as we always run into stop and go traffic somewhere as we pass through. I have been in several motor vehicle accidents, and am not the most relaxed passenger there ever was. So it was a happy discovery that I could take along my crochet project (a carry all bag), and work on it blissfully as Attila operated the vehicle. That freed him from any concern about how I was feeling. Attila is sensitive to my feelings, which is usually a good thing, but in this instance it is counter-productive. We both experienced an easier journey.

When we arrived home on Sunday afternoon, Attila went right to work planting all the wonderful things we had been given, and I washed, chopped, and cooked the rhubarb to make 2 ½ quarts. Attila enjoys stewed rhubarb in his lunches.

Yesterday I called the bank to reschedule an appointment. The original was for Monday morning, and I happily spent my day with no awareness whatsoever of my commitment. On Tuesday morning I looked at the calendar and found that I had missed the appointment, but thought that I was only hours late, this time not realizing it was already Tuesday. Calling the bank, I apologized for inconsiderately missing the arranged appointment, and asked for another. Luckily she had an opening the same day, so that chore is now done and dusted.

Yesterday evening, as soon as Attila arrived home from work, we headed in Tank towards the Rideau Camp. He had been warned by co-workers living in the countryside, that the black flies had started and that were bad this year. We were prepared. During the day I hung a set of work clothes each on the clothesline and sprayed them liberally with permethrin, wearing a mask, latex gloves, and a long sleeved shirt. They were dry in good time to be worn at the camp that evening. I also packed our evening meal, consisting of homemade sodium-free hummus, low-sodium rice crackers for me, pita bread for Attila, seedless grapes, coconut pineapple muffins, and low-sodium lime flavoured soda water. Attila had the gardening tools ready by the door, so that they could be loaded into Tank in a few minutes. I donned a “bug jacket” at home, ready for the hoards of little black biters.

The water level in our swamp was down a bit, and the creek was running at a trickle. I zipped up the head segment of the bug jacket before getting out of Tank, and was glad I had. The black flies were well represented, but Attila noted that they really “weren’t that bad”. We had become accustomed to the black flies at the country house, which were worse by a hundredfold, than they were at the Rideau Camp. Still, I was glad of the full cover bug jacket, and Attila used insect repellent on any of his exposed flesh. Neither of us received a bite.

Attila has two projects in mind for this visit. The first was to whipper snip the open areas, which took almost two hours, as there is quite an area to cover now. The second was to prepare the dirt where the wood pile had been, and then to do some planting. My Mom and Sister-The-Middle-Girl loaded us up with goodies while we were visiting for Mother’s Day. At the Camp Attila planted 20 garlic buds, and three mounds of squash. We will see how they do, we aren’t expecting much but you never know. At one point the land was used as pasture, and you just never know where those cow patties landed.

While Attila was busy with his projects, I wandered down to the end of the driveway, enjoying all the flora and fauna. Coming back to the cleared area I dragged along with me two small dead trees, piling them up near the camp fire pit, ready for the next camp fire. I continued my forays for dead wood, and amassed quite a sizeable pile of it for future camp fires. Only a brief time was spent raking crushed stone, it is such hard labour, I don’t want to push myself past my limit. The crushed stone project is going to take a very long time to complete.

DSCF0629 The driveway at the Rideau Camp, a nice place for a stroll. Most but not all of the brush piles, left by the previous owners, have been collected and burned in the camp fire pit. It certainly looks a lot nicer than it did a year ago, when we first owned and began to work on the property.

The Trout Lilies were spent, but we found many small violets in bloom all around the Camp. The Trilliums were at their peak, masses of them at the sides of the road as we drove in, and masses of them on our property. The birds have at last arrived, we heard owls in the distance, saw geese fly overhead, watched four Blue Jays kibitz around in the trees, and as the evening shadows lengthened murders of crows flew in and settled in one of the huge oak trees on our property. We have hundreds of crows on and around our property.

DSCF0622 The Trilliums were in bloom!

We found no signs of unwelcome visitors. The young boys who had trespassed with their motor bikes and ATV had not returned. We have a No Trespassing sign to put up next time we go to the Camp. I noticed a neighbour had put up a sign prohibiting dirt bikes, snowmobiles and ATVs, so I am going to look into getting one of those signs as well. There will always be new crops of boys heading out to “God’s Country” with their motorized toys.

As the light began to fail, we sat contentedly in Tank, eating our meal where the black flies do not roam. Black flies do not like enclosed spaces, they will head for an opening to escape. It was possible to eat, and breath, without concerning ourselves with small beings flying into our mouths and noses. Mosquito season is not so kind, they have no foibles about hanging around in enclosed spaces, and actually like them as their targets are usually immobile and easier to attack.

We arrived home just before bed time. I slept deeply. Usually I wake up when Attila does in the morning, but this morning Attila had to wake me.

Terra called, and then dropped by with Sunny and Sky. We are seeing more of Sunny and Sky now that they are older. Terra has been cautious, during their first preemie months at home, about exposing them unnecessarily to illnesses that might affect them more seriously full-term babies. Today they were going out with Terra’s friend, but the friend is not up so early, so they came here for their breakfast to wait for her. Sunny and Sky seem to like it here. They enjoy the two baby toys that I keep in the kitchen drawer for them: a red silicone basting brush, and a yellow plastic ice cream scoop. I had to run around putting away things that might fall on them, as Sunny now pulls herself up on furniture or anything she can reach. She actually got the kitchen chair working as a walker, moving it across the floor as if it was on wheels. Sky is crawling, and today he learned how to sit from a crawling position. Lots of first for these wee folk.

It is a beautiful summer day today. Sunshine, and warm breezes mean that I have thrown open the windows to let in the blossom scented air.

Worldly Distractions

Weather

24°C
Date: 12:00 PM EDT Wednesday 17 May 2017
Condition: Partly Cloudy
Pressure: 101.0 kPa
Tendency: Falling
Temperature: 23.5°C
Dew point: 15.7°C
Humidity: 61%
Wind: SW 28 gust 44 km/h
Humidex: 28
Visibility: 24 km

Quote

“I look to the future because that’s where I’m going to spend the rest of my life.”
George Burns
1896 – 1996

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6 Responses to The Little Black Fly

  1. Bex Crowell says:

    That was a lovely and satisfying entry Maggie. Are you making the “market bag” ? I have made 5 of them so far. Now I am trying to decide on blankets… trying out new things… and my 2nd poncho is going great guns – my 1st one is stuck – ran out of the yarn and haven’t bought a new supply yet. Keep forgetting when I’m at Michael’s site. Plus I like the #2 poncho better than the #1 one.

  2. You haven’t mentioned woodticks among the insect plagues in your area. Scott has read that where there are oak leaves, there will be ticks. We have three burr oaks on one edge of our front lawn, and a perennial flower bed beneath them. I only rake the leaves off; from now on though, I’ll bag them up and haul them away somewhere. -Kate

  3. Bex, I am making the “market bag”, enjoying it too. My yarns are very old and very cranky, but I am using them up! I have promised myself not to buy any more yarn until I have used all of these random old balls of yarn.

    The ponchos will be nice and warm next winter, or even on a cool summer’s night.

  4. So far Kate, I have only seen one wood tick, thank goodness. The wood ticks in our area are the type that carry Lyme Disease, so an infestation would be truly scary. We are collecting dryer lint to spray with permethrin, put into sort pvc tubes and distribute around our properties. The mice can use the lint as bedding, killing the wood ticks as they latch onto the mice. Apparently this will diminish the tick population, at least that is what is claimed. We do have oaks at the Rideau Camp, so I guess we better get cracking on these tick deterrent strategies.

  5. TopsyTurvy (Teri) says:

    Sounds like you had a lovely, family Mother’s Day celebration! And what bounty you received! You’ll have quite the garden going.

    I seriously need a rhubarb plant. My grandmother made the most wonderful rhubarb pies using tapioca as the thickner and come spring I always crave them.

    Glad to hear you’re getting more time with Sunny and Sky!

    Your weekday trip to the camp made me smile. Excellent proof of how much you enjoy it there. We almost put an offer on a cottage on Lake Huron last weekend. In the end we decided against it though, as the amount of work that would have had to be done by winter would have stretched our budget too thin. But next year we’ll be seriously hunting for a nice lakeside place. Some of our financial obligations will end and paying for and maintaining a place will be much easier.

  6. Teri, I felt very fortunate to be able to visit with my Mom to celebrate Mother’s Day, and her 86th birthday. I don’t see her nearly often enough! The garden goodies were an added treat, and it worked for both ways because the plants we received were due for purging, so instead of into the compost, they went into our garden, win/win!

    Despite the common statement that rhubarb is easy to grow, I have always had difficulty with it. First we had two rhubarb plants we bought for our garden at Mist Cottage, then one died. Then Terra gave me two nice rhubarb plants for Mother’s Day one year, which then made three. Now we have planted a fourth, and I have my fingers crossed that it will thrive. That rhubarb pie sounds delicious, what a lovely memory.

    It is a real treat to get to see Sunny and Sky as much as we do, we didn’t get to see very much of our Imp and Elf and Tink over the years,, which makes this extra special. I think Terra is making sure that they are familiar with our house and us, so that when she goes back to work, soon, and they need us to fill in for a few hours when their work schedules don’t work out for minding the children, that Sunny and Sky will feel right at home hanging out at Grandma’s place for a few hours.

    Wow, a cottage! Lake Huron is beautiful! Looking for that special place is so exciting, enjoy!