Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Escaping the Flies

It’s blackfly season.  And it’s in full swing.

But I know how to escape them.  So do you, if you have one of my black market F.A.Q. pamphlets about Copper Harbor.

The key is to keep moving.  I went on my first roller blade of the season today, and I forgot they existed until I got home and took my blades off at the bottom of the steps.  Oh, they were swarming me!  In my hair, on my neck, in my mouth.  Patooey!  They must love my sweaty goodness.  I grabbed my gear, though some if it was still on me, and ran up into the house.  There.  I escaped.

Today I also needed to burn some cardboard.  At first, while standing at my fire ring, they began to swarm.  So I lit my lighter and sent that cardboard up in flames.  Bye bye, blackfiles!

A couple days ago a friend and I were searching for morels in the woods. Morels I did not find, but the bugs found me!  Here’s where the mind game starts.  When forced to be among them, you repeat over and over what your main objective in the woods is.

I am looking for morels.  I am looking for morels. Oh, the blueberry bushes are blossoming!  I am looking for morels.  I am looking for morels.  Ooh, a fiddlehead.  Yum!  I am looking for morels.

Then the blackflies don’t seem so bad.  Soon enough (and especially because I found zero morels) the bug bites were becoming more apparent.  I bet you are wondering how I escaped that scene.  I ran out of the woods, hopped on my bike and pedaled away.  Whew!

But as a whole, the swarms have been on and off.  The wind really takes care of them, so thank you, Lake Superior!  Too much sun and hot makes them hide under cover, and too chilly of weather (like today) seems to keep them under cover.

I have no expectations.  I know some tricks.  But most of all, I know when to stay inside until it gets dark!


  1. Thanks for the tutorial Amanda. I'm heading up to the Keweenaw with my wife early Friday morning for a long weekend camping trip and can use the advice. We won't have bikes with us but I've found that our kayak can be a nice way to escape the biting pests while also getting a fresh perspective on the shoreline. Hope you have a great holiday despite all of the tourists. I always try to disguise myself. Take care

  2. I have found the same thing works for black flies when they're not real thick. My theory is that present moment awareness strengthens our energy field around us, which keeps them away. Pretty flaky idea eh? Another idea, when possible, is bring someone who is from out of town and the flies will go for the fresh blood.