That would make a great name for a punk rock band, wouldn’t it? “Black Fly Conspiracy!”
Maybe if I ever learn to play that guitar sitting out in the garage…
Bug season has been over for awhile now. Oh sure, there are some hangers on, like that winged something or other that kept buzzing around my monitor last night. But for the most part, it’s a new season. One without bugs.
And as I reflect back on surviving our first encounter with “black fly season”, I can’t help but wonder… what’s the big deal?
As an aside, I love how life in the Adirondacks is often framed in terms of survival.
You survive black fly season, you survive the winter, you survive the locals. Ok, ok, mostly kidding about that last one. But so far, for us, none of these things have had bites that match their barks.
What black flies?
Anyway, back to bites… or lack of bites, I should say. This was the black fly season that never materialized for us.
After reading and hearing all about the horrors of the May to June swarm, we hurried to get all of our yard work done and we loaded up on repellents. We were basically prepared to barricade ourselves in the house for 2 months.
But as it turns out, other than the one or two that annoyingly buzzed around my head during hikes (and that I am told were actually deer flies), I struggle to recall much of a problem with any type of flies this bug season – let alone black ones.
So then, what is the deal?
I began to think that maybe it was a conspiracy. Hey, I live in rural America now… conspiracies are the go-to explanation for a lot of things.
Tin Foil Hat Time
But seriously, hear me out.
May and June are some fantastic months to be outdoors. Temperatures are moderate. Things are beginning to green up. Yet you can still play in snow at higher elevations. Other than a little mud, it is one of my favorite times of year to go hiking. And the kicker is that there is hardly anyone else around.
Why? Because they all stayed home to avoid the flies.
See where I am going with this?
I hope someone does, because I lost track.
I think I was about to suggest that maybe black fly season has been cooked up by the residents of the Adirondacks so that they can have a few months to enjoy their mountains and lakes in peace.
If so, I’m on board… someone teach me the secret handshake.
Alright fine, that is ridiculous.
Viva la biological warfare
There are actually a few things that can help explain our lack of a black fly experience this year.
For starters, I’m told weather conditions were not very favorable for the poor little buggers this spring. Then there is also the fact that we live in an area that treats black fly habitat with a biological control agent called Bti. This is apparently controversial in some circles… something to do with trout populations… but I’ve been too lazy to look into whether there is any validity to that.
And there is also the fact that right around black fly season is when we decided to get a puppy, and I decided to hurt myself falling off a slackline. The combination of those two things meant we didn’t venture too far into the woods during the thick of things.
So, my conclusion? While probably not a conspiracy, black fly season is definitely not as bad as it is made out to be. So come enjoy the Adirondacks in May and June… seriously!
I look forward to being proven wrong next year. Assuming I survive the winter, that is.