Today in Critters
Today’s the official start of greenhead fly season at Crane Beach in Ipswich, MA, one of my favorite summertime haunts. Unlike mosquitos, which extract a blood meal, these biting flies want to tear off a piece of your skin for nourishment, so they hurt! This morning’s Facebook buzz also brings news of other critters.
Greenhead Flies Advisories
Greenheads are biting horseflies. Greenhead fly season at Crane Beach generally begins by July 11 and the flies are completely gone by the end of the first week in August. Fly intensity varies daily and they are frequently not present on the beachfront between July 11th and August 7th. Lifeguards, Beach Rangers, and other staff have long used an Avon product called “Skin So Soft” to keep the greenheads from biting. The “Skin So Soft” lotion is sold at the Crane Beach Snack Bar.
One friend, a biologist, warns of tick-borne bebeiosis, which leaves not a telltale bullseye like lyme disease, but flu-like symptoms in its wake. Another may have contracted folliculitis from mud in a weekend Warrior Dash in Amesbury this weekend (or has compounded preexisting poison ivy from same).
Finally, last night I had a bird in my shorts. Though I felt somewhat violated, fortunately, I was not in them at the time. As I was fixing dinner, I spied a small red reddish bird, probably a baby cardinal, darting in and out of the pockets, and hanging upside down inside the leg of a pair of my cargo shorts that were hanging outside on the clothesline.
Be careful, friends, it’s summer, and it’s a jungle out there.