Archive for May, 2012

No-see-ums (see photo – ha, ha, ha – oh, it’s time to go into town again) is the common name of a group of tiny, flying insects that can be found throughout North America,but I will bet my new piece of power equipment (yes, a photo will follow) that the majority of No-see-ums live on my property. Only 1-4 millimeters long they plague families and travelers in the outdoors with their bites.  I should be so lucky the No-see-ums living in my woods would consider a nice, long, plague vacation – anywhere.  No-see-ums are known to science as the 4000 species in the family Ceratopogonidae and are related to black flies (sounds like a plague in the making).  To anyone who lives in, or goes into the woods, they are also called biting midges, midges, punkies, sand flies, No-see-ums and many other local names, names I cannot print here if I’m to keep this post somewhat family oriented.

No see ums’ habitats are anywhere there is moisture to lay their eggs.  Some of the species are so small they can pass through regular window screens or tent netting. Only special clothing with micro fine netting can give complete protection against No see ums’ bites.  I own none of this clothing.  What I do own are bottles and tubes of anti-itch cream that I slather on after a day of wading through their villages.  Underneath all that cream, I can still hear their 1.4 millimeter laughs as I back another shot of Benadryl.   The little suckers leave bites (yes, plural, because I have yet to escape with no less than a couple dozen bites in places where one is not supposed to scratch in public) that itch and burn!  So badly, that the use of that exclamation point was properly used.  Don’t you just hate it when someone uses exclamation points unnecessarily?!!!!  I will not digress.

Now, I hate to turn on the sisterhood of any species, but it’s only the female No see ums that bite.  They seek blood to enable their eggs to mature.  What we don’t do for our kids, however, drinking blood is where I draw the line (unless, of course, it’s a Bloody Mary).  However, tromping through their matriarchal villages was a bit easier because I made a new purchase.  Yes, my friends, long ago I said goodbye to the days of my youth when macrame bags, Mary Quant eyeshadow, poppers and platforms (yes, these are the shoes I walked miles and miles in while living in New York City) tickled my fancy, and traded it all in (as if I had a choice about my youth falling by the wayside) for the new things that tickle my old fancy now, like my new piece of power equipment, which hopefully will take the pressure off  the bone spur on my clavicle, created from all that weed whacking.

Sharp left turn down a two-lane black top to the present – several weeks later – after I’ve had a chance to use my new Powermate 160 cc, 4 Cycle Field Trimmer.

I am happy to report the initial start-up went well; I even remembered to put oil in before starting it up to avoid burning up the engine (see very old post regarding the necessity of oil in all power equipment, or, the ramification for the lack thereof).  However, what I did not notice when making my purchase (so heady, was I, from finding the answer to my prayers – or the fact that I was standing near all the pesticides) is that the Powermate 160 cc, 4 Cycle Field Trimmer is not self-propelled.  Have I ever mentioned that my property consists of a slope after slope, tier upon tier?  I’m sure I have.  It’s not like me to overlook an opportunity to hold out my tin cup for a few coins of viral sympathy.  Let me say this: if you take a level and put it on any of my slopes, that little bubble that should be in the center between those two nifty black lines, will have entirely disappeared from view – those kinds of slopes.  Suffice it to say, my clavicle was happy, my legs not so much as I planted my feet into the ground and pushed with all my might up numerous slopes; and my arms – not too happy about the downward slope tug from the Powermate 160 cc, 4 Cycle Field Trimmer – even when the speed level was changed from Rabbit to Turtle.  I kid you not.  Slow speed shows a small turtle; fast, a rabbit.  Don’t even get me started.

I have three days to catch up with my chorin’ out on the property, or I could slip on those old platforms and…oh, who am I kidding?  I can’t even get my arches to bend like that anymore.  If you’re looking for me, I’ll be the one running behind the turtle.  Next time I’ll tell you about the bird and her nest.  Oh, I know I promised to update you on SoBuFaCi, but they’ve asked me to keep a lid on their new act until they’re ready to perform again.  I may have already said too much.  Until next time, I hope life is treating you the way you were meant to be treated.


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