The Flies

As we continued the long process of leveling and unhitching, plumbing and plugging in, unpacking and tidying up, the aforementioned flies (Poor Judgment) left their shady idyll and came to see what we were doing. We swatted and flicked and didn’t think too much of it until I washed out a few smalls and hung them up. “Oh, look. They’re attracted to pink.” They were also attracted to white and black and glass and wood and chrome and human flesh. They began to set themselves up for the night on the leeward side of the trailer like a sociable Spanish family who will sit beside you on an otherwise empty beach.

Our new friends
Our new friends

It was hot and we were tired so we shut ourselves in for the evening and had an early night. By early night I mean we went to bed, not to sleep. Freight trains plied a steady trade and you could tell even in the dark if they were trundling east or west simply by listening to the whistle.

Not one engine, not two, not three, but . .  oh my. And this is just the front of the train. There were pusher engines as well!
Not one engine, not two, not three, but . . oh my. And this is just the front of the train. There were pusher engines as well!

By 3:oo am I ceased to cat nap between the guess-the-direction-of-the-trains game as the wind had picked up and the awning was flapping and banging its supports. Jimmy had another long drive ahead of him so I left him to doze as best he could while I dashed outside in my nightie to tension the strut on the awning. The flies immediately descended on my bare arms, face and back so I performed a swatting sort of break dance as I pushed the strut, twiddled the knob and hopped back indoors.

Wide awake now I watched daylight begin to seep through the blinds. I opened them and gazed out the window to witness a gorgeous sunrise of violet, orange and pale yellow, as the dazzling orb rose up over the horizon. Examining the golden morning through binoculars I could see clouds of flies swarming in front of the site owner’s house, keeping him company as well.

My first sighting of a yellow-headed blackbird
My first sighting of a yellow-headed blackbird

I watched swallows swooping and feeding their young, nesting in holes of old elm trees. Three vibrant yellow-headed blackbirds paid a visit to feed just outside my window and two pairs of goldfinches appeared. Off in the field I thought I could see rats and squirrels, but with the aid of binoculars I could tell they were prairie dogs, like fat rats, but so cute as they stretched up on tip toe to survey their patch.

You lookin' at me?
You lookin’ at me?

My quiet morning nature watch was interrupted at 5:00 am when the daylight coming through the frosted window on the other side of the trailer appeared spackled with black. Opening the blind, I could hardly see out through the seething mass of flies. Unable to contain myself I ambushed Jimmy, yanking open all the blinds, shrieking, “Look! Look!” as he sat up, blinking.

Note the delightful proximity of the freight train
Note the delightful proximity of the freight train. And the flies, some of which were playing hide and seek by this point.

As yet we were not troubled “indoors” by the flies.

An eight-hour drive towing our unwieldy trailer required an unaccustomed early start so we left for our next campsite well before the noon dismissal. We breakfasted, washed, dressed and battened down the hatches; we picked up keys, water, phones, hats, etc. and braced ourselves by the door. One, two, three, go!

Scuttling out and slamming the door quickly behind us we found one whole side of the trailer and the car black with teeny, tiny flies. The plastic cover on our heavy-duty batteries seemed to have a particular electrical attraction as it was dripping with thick lumps of flies. Neither of us has ever seen anything like it or wish to again.

But it got worse. And more comical.

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