Saturday, October 11, 2014

Fly seasons: gross and grosser

Posted By on Sat, Oct 11, 2014 at 7:30 AM

click to enlarge LINDSEY APARICIO
  • Lindsey Aparicio
The way I see it, there are two distinct fly seasons. There’s the long, drawn-out, hot and muggy summer season, when there are zillions of them that seem to spawn from nowhere, and then there’s the short, but disgusting, cold-weather fly season.

It should be known that my favorite fly season — if I had to choose between gross and grosser — would be the summer fly season. The 7 million flies on any given sauna-like afternoon that fill up fly tape within two minutes, land on the goats causing them to stomp and nearly step into the milk pail during milking, and irritate the living daylights out of any human being still pale in comparison to what you get in the cold-weather fly season.

Let me paint a few pictures for you, in case you've never encountered a cold weather fly:

You're standing at the kitchen sink, gazing out the window as you wash a few dishes. You’re marveling at the deep blue color of the sky and watching the cloud shaped like a lizard change into a guitar then into a wedding cake when a large, lethargic black blob enters your peripheral vision and slams into your cheek. It maintains contact with your flesh for longer than you care to think about, and the fact that it even collided with your unmoving face is absurd. Don't flies have upward of 1000 eyes? It should have seen you as an obstruction from at least the dining room table.

From the point of contact, it ricochets off and begins a slow descent to the ground, its wings not able to recover quickly enough to get it to safety. If you are quick, you can get the dish soap off your hands, grab a dishtowel and swat it with ease. But, if you delay, or if it regains consciousness mid-flight, it zigzags and lands on the glass spice jars, posing for a picture, and is temporarily safe because you can't kill it without risking your Italian seasoning being peppered with shards of glass.

The worst, though, is when you're walking toward the door, in a hurry to get to a meeting. At the time you happen to take your usual breath in through your nose, a cold-weather fly comes in from left field. It’s so slow and weak that it can't fight the pull of the vacuum it suddenly feels drawing it directly toward your right nostril.

A millisecond before you inhale the poop-eating insect deep into your nasal cavity, your brain processes the reality of the situation and the impending disaster. You stop your breath and wave frantically at the base of your nose. That one got away, but at least you didn't have to go to the ER to have it removed from the depths of your sinuses.

The last image I’d like to give you is the one of the near dead cold-weather fly. Today, I went to the bathroom sink to wash my hands and lo and behold, there was a gigantic fly sitting by the drain. Really, it was sitting there, still. So still that I could see that its eyes were a rust-colored red and its nose greenish. (I had not ever realized that flies have noses.) The fly didn't even flinch when I came at it with a wad of toilet paper — no movement whatsoever. It had already crossed over to the other side — to fly heaven, or wherever flies go upon death — but was still standing up. It hadn't even taken the time to fully die and roll over like the dead flies on the windowsill.

I hope you can now thoroughly understand why I strongly prefer summer fly season; cold-weather flies take irritating to a whole other level. It is always important to look at the glass half-full, right?

Lindsey is a city girl turned urban farm girl. She and her family are the proud stewards of a few milking goats, a lot of working chickens, an organic garden and a budding orchard. Just around the corner is the city. But she, and her farm, are hidden by the rocks. Follow her on Twitter (@goatcheeselady) and FaceBook (The Goat Cheese Lady) or visit her website ( E-mail questions, comments, suggestions, etc to Lindsey at:

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