Thursday, July 2, 2009

A Walk In The Woods

Who knows what evil lurks...

The woods aren't for me.

My home town in South Texas did not have a drainage and sewage system. When it rained, water sat and stagnated in great puddles until the heat of the sun evaporated it. Until that happened, each pool functioned as a veritable Garden of Eden for breeding mosquitoes. Now, Gulf Coast mosquitoes are big. When I say big, I mean quarter-inch long s.o.b.s who attack like Stukas. Sometimes, the best way to kill one was to let it gorge itself for a few second before slapping. This usually left a bloody mess. Warding them off kept my arms in motion like a Dutch windmill, and it was no fun at all.

Not only that, flying insects like me. Whenever I'm in their neighborhood, a cumulus cloud-sized swarm seeks me out and finds me within minutes. Yesterday during our walk in the Brackloon Woods, T. admitted that she had never seen quite as impressive a swarm of bugs flying around a single human head, so many Messerschmitts beleaguering a wounded B-17 Flying Fortress. (Confidential to Bob: Some of them Messerschmitts was Fokkers!)

Meanwhile, I'm flailing desperately lest the hexapodine vampires drain every last drop of Irish-Texan blood from me. So, what started as an innocent walk in some lovely, dark, deep glades of the woods wound up as a primal death clash between me and the devilish little bastards, stimulated by the repressed memory of the mosquito molestation I suffered growing up.


It looks so innocent.


Not that it wasn't good exercise. Once I figured out that the faster I walked the sooner I escaped, I hustled out of there faster than, well, a newly-bred mosquito from a Kingsville puddle looking for live game. Only in this case the goal was a lunch of mussels and Guiness at the Sheebeen. The mussels were so fresh that barnacles adhered to their shells. Sweet and tender doesn't begin to describe them, especially when washed down with a pint of mother's milk (the Guinness). What started out as a near-death experience developed into a total life experience. Living can be that way, sometimes...






Blogging in Ireland while listening to John Carty is a good thing. Here he is:

10 comments:

Premium T. said...

"Primal Death Clash" and "Mosquito Molestation" sound like a new X-Box game. See whose killer mega-mosquito kills the Irish-Texan first!

Roy said...

Ahhhhh! It's nice to have some good Irish fiddling to go along with my post-breakfast tea.

As for the bug cloud... Unique body chemistry? Diet? Do you wear aftershave or cologne on your walks in the woods? I wander in woods and swamps and salt marshes all the time and never have a problem with bugs. But i did learn years ago not to go into the woods perfumed in any way; the bugs think you're a flower and come a-runnin'! But if all else fails, Deep Woods Off certainly works well. There are also some natural insect repellents based on citronella that are pretty effective.

K. said...

I emit a natural aroma not unlike that of a rose.

Given the opportunity, I go straight for the DEET.

willow said...

Thanks for the giggles! It sounds like you were drug along on this wonderful walk in the lush Irish countryside kicking and screaming. Well, sounds like mother's milk cured your fears.

Bob said...

There must be something in our blood, Paul. I walk into the backyard and mosquitoes see a huge neon "Open For Business" sign. I hate those little Fokkers!

Rastamick61 said...

slap one of the buggers for me and keep the pics coming, making me check the aerlingus rates !!!

Madam Miaow said...

Lovely pix, K. Also makes me want to visit Ireland.

Ima Wizer said...

Ha, ha, ha...we ARE kindred spirits because I cannot walk out my front door that I am not attacked by, in this case, No-Seeums that bite the hell out of my ankles.
The whole time I am watering I am doing an Irish jig to keep the little bastards off my feet. Deep Woods helps. But I hate to put poison on my skin (anyway you look at it, that's what you are doing!)
I think it is something in our blood because I have friends who are never bitten, meanwhile I am a scabby mess because I scratch until I bleed.....lovely, huh!
My word verification is "fella"...go figure.

Foxessa said...

O, holly! I don't think I've ever seen holly GROWING anywhere. Mistletoe I've seen, but not holly. Except maybe hedges at a zoo perhaps?

ND mosquitos are definitely in the class of your West Texas one -- as Vaquero put it in a song he wrote about where I grew up, "Mosquitos big as helicopter choppers ...."

Love, C.

John Hayes said...

Man vs. nature! Fun story, & well-told.