Sunday, September 18, 2011

The Legacy of Lee

A week ago now, Tropical Storm Lee swept through our area. We "weathered" the storm quite nicely. We had quite a bit of rain but only localized flooding that didn't cause Lana and I any trouble. The wind was largely nothing to worry about and we didn't even lose electrical power during the storm. Afterward, in fact, we thanked Lee for bringing in some much needed cooler weather, which at first allowed Lana and I to get outside a bit more.

Then Lee's children arrived, courtesy of all the standing water he left behind, and I am no longer considering the storm a weak villain in the story of my life. On Friday evening as I arrived home, I stepped out of my car into a swarm of mosquitoes that resembled the swallows returning to Capistrano. If those swallows were blood-sucking predators, that is. I made a break for the house through the cloud and managed to get inside and get the door barred before I was down more than a pint or so of A-.

Lana and I then hunted down and killed the few six legged vampires who had managed to breach our barriers. An hour or so later, we heard the mosquito truck come by spraying its load of mosquito death, and I must admit to feeling a small bit of pride at how my fellow humans were striking back at the evil. Under my breath, I began to chant, just subtly, "Human Race, Human Race."

Alas, while our front yard remains a relatively mosquito barren landscape, our back yard--to borrow a line from the movie Starship Troopers--"crawls." The weather is nice but there is no sitting on the deck. Not if one values the fine red fluid that flows in one's veins.

Unfortunately, I have to venture out each morning into that no man's land to feed the birds. It takes barely a few minutes but the hordes are waiting. I am covered with bites, quite a few of which appear to be bites made upon previous bites. And they itch...really...really ...bad. I'm considering buying myself a Hazmat suit. If I knew where to find one.

Ahh Lee. We thought you were a weak sister. But you've brought me low. I bow before your dread power. I surrender my back yard to your minions. I will call you forever, "Father of Mosquitoes."

Have mercy!
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38 comments:

Sidney said...

Glad that wasn't so bad. Nothing seems to push rain this way these days.

the walking man said...

Charles go to HERE and take a look at all the storms brewing in the south Atlantic. Almost full orange (not good) from the horn of Africa to the gulf and part way up the east coast. I guess that's why the "season" doesn't end until October.

As for the mosquitoes you know if you keep on the move they will not land...course that means you better be pretty fast and not stop to turn around.

On another note ready when you are.

Charles Gramlich said...

Sidney, I know you guys are in a serious drought. I hope you get some relief soon.

Mark, I was already doing a little dance trying to keep them off. Sort of like cattle with their hides twitching.

Chris said...

I'm generally not bothered much by mosquitos; in situations where my wife is being swarmed, I'm unbothered. And if I am bitten, it doesn't usually affect me much; Julia says it's because I have rhinoceros hide.

That changed a month or so ago on a long hike I did in Illinois around some wetland areas. I was being swarmed for about 8 of 10 miles, and the aftermath was one big annoying itch. I feel your pain, man, believe me.

laughingwolf said...

ugh! i'm allergic to the damn things! GRRRRRRRR

for your enjoyment:
http://www.metacafe.com/watch/29743/loco_loco_mosquito/

Charles Gramlich said...

Chris, it's the beer, man. If you drink beer your blood is more acidic and you are less appetizing to mosquitoes. I'm convinced. And I don't drink that much beer any more.

Laughingwolf, glad I'm not allergic. I'd be in the hospital now. I'll check out the link.

Deka Black said...

Sometimes i think mosquitoes are a supervillain weapon. Why conquer the world? Is more fun to be annoying!

Travis Cody said...

I'm always stunned by how quickly mosquito swarms come out of standing water.

Charles Gramlich said...

Deka, yes, a superweapon of evil!

Travis Cody, almost like spontaneous generation.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I can relate! They always find me, no matter how many layers of Off I spray on my body.

Oscar said...

Watch out for that new Asian Type! It can be nasty. Those storms always go up the east coast, never west where it is needed.

Lana Gramlich said...

I still have a bee net for my head that you could borrow. At least your head would be safe!

The Golden Eagle said...

Mosquitoes are some of the most annoying, occasionally painful bugs.

M. M. Fahren said...

wetlands.

eric1313 said...

I detest flying stinging arthropods of all types. Evil on the wing.

When I was a land surveyor (fun job, but didn't pay what one would think a job making binding legal documents for real estate lawyers would pay), I learned that a lit cigarette will keep them away, as they fear smoke. One wiff and they take off at a blistering 2-3 miles per hour back to whatever pit spawned them. So cigarettes earned the name mosquito candles during that time. Of course, this probably does not help as you don't smoke...

Merisi said...

I never imagined what a tropical storm's children would look like! When will they ever leave?

Charles Gramlich said...

Alex J. Cavanaugh, they always hunt the good ones the hardest. :)

Oscar, we’ve seen some of both here. I hate the striped ones. I wish you all would get some rain.

Lana Gramlich, I wonder if it would work against them. They are so much smaller than skeeters.

The Golden Eagle, skeeters and roaches are about the only creatures on earth I will kill with no remorse.

M. M. Fahren, definitely. Turning that way at least.

eric1313, definitely. Devilfish of the air. Lana smokes. And was smoking yesterday to keep them off when we were at the park.

Merisi, I hope they will die out soon. We need more bats. They will eat ‘em.

BernardL said...

When I worked a summer at a Exxon station in Baton Rouge back in 1973 I thought the Mosquito was the Louisiana state bird. :)

Erik Donald France said...

Oh man, mosquitoes are nasty little vamps. Have you heard about the Asian Tiger variety? I guess they're half the size and twice the bite, carrying various infectious nasties.

Lee whipped up the fires in TX with wind, but not rain. However, Fort Worth has gotten a few splashes in the past few days . . .

Jess said...

I HATE mosqitoes--in fact, all flying, biting, stinging critters. We've got a lot of them too. A plane goes over every few evenings dropping poison--at least, I think that's what it's doing. If not, then the pilot is buzzing his girlfriend who has to live in my neighborhood. Nothing can make the hair on the back of my neck quiver like a low plane at 9:00 p.m.

Charles Gramlich said...

Bernardl, it nearly killed all the pelicans from blood loss, that's for sure.

Erik, I hope we don't get any of those tigers but I'm afraid we may already have some.

Jess, there are some nasty little critters, like the black flies, that can give mosquitoes a run for their money. But for sheer bloodthirstiness, the skeeter rules.

Ron Scheer said...

A concern here would be swimming pools in foreclosed houses, combined with West Nile. Fortunately, we don't live in that upscale a neighborhood.

eric1313 said...

Was doing some reading and I found this.

http://www.thecimmerian.com/charles-gramlichs-new-sword-and-sorcery-collection-bitter-steel-is-published/

Just wondered if you had seen it. Oddly enough I was wondering if you had seen the blog there and then I happened upon that post.

X. Dell said...

I'm sorry that you've been going through this. On the bright side, however, at least I know your blood type.

Charles Gramlich said...

Ron, yeah, that's pretty upscale. :)

Eric1313, yeah, I did see it. I'm FB friends with the guy who wrote it. Cool fellow.

X-Dell, that and a nickle will.....

pattinase (abbott) said...

This has all the elements of a terrific horror story. I love the idea of little sisters.

Richard Prosch said...

Hates skeeters myself! Your post reminded me of the classic short story (though better on radio with William Conrad) "Leiningen Versus the Ants." Human race! Human race!
It's free to read online here:
http://www.classicshorts.com/stories/lvta.html

Charles Gramlich said...

Patti, certainly rather scary. I'll use it for atomsphere in some story for sure.

Richard, I don't know that one. Thanks for the link. I'll check it out.

Chris Benjamin said...

Mosquito populations are all off kilter this year, largely because of the changing frequency and intensity of storms in various locations, a result of climate change. Winnipeg, usually home base for the bloodsuckers, has hardly had any this year. But other western Canadian cities are inundated---crawling. Some of us may have to get used to sacrificing our blood I'm afraid. Sounds like you got hit pretty hard. May want to keep looking for that hazmat suit.

Heff said...

Bathe in DEET !

Steve Malley said...

Avon's 'Skin So Soft'-- bugs fucking HATE it, and you smell better than Deet or Off or any of that business.

SOunds like you've got the makings for one hell of a scifi/horror there-- just make the mozzies the size of dogs!

Charles Gramlich said...

Chris, I remember being surprised at how many skeeters there were in the Niagara region when I was there.

Heff, wow, there's a name I ain't seen in a while. I've got some stuff around here that's supposed to work but these bastards probably just think it adds flavor.

Steve Malley, did you ever read a horror western tale called "Yore skin's jes as soft n purty?" Oh wow, real horrible for sure.

Cloudia said...

"Human race Human race!"
Yeah, i like being human with you, and did worry a bit over you & Lana in the storm. Now I'm safe from waves and storms (no, not dead :-)
Come see:
Well, I'm in a NEW place & NEW lifestyle!
Do YOU know WHO I am? WHERE I live?
I'm not quite sure.
but boat Kitty is happy and so are we.
Stop by to see the view-



Aloha from Waikiki;

Comfort Spiral


> < } } ( ° >



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Charles Gramlich said...

Cloudia, I will definitely be by.

Drizel said...

eeeeeekkkkkk, that sounds terrible.
I hate em mosquitoes.
Good luck

Charles Gramlich said...

Drizel, me too. Thankee

Carole said...

Great post which brought gales of laughter to this reader. I must say I feel a big smug. I used to hate mosquito bites but some how about ten years ago I became immune. They still bite, they still suck my blood, but they don't even raise a red bump or itch. It is weird, but I like it.

Charles Gramlich said...

Carole, I envy you your immunity