Wednesday, May 19, 2010

The Black Fly Song

While the song may be about how bad the black flies are in Northern Ontario, they are a nuisance here in Southeastern New Brunswick as well. Finally, yesterday, a beautiful warm sunny day so I plunked myself down on my outdoor swing, in the cool of the shade, overlooking the river. It wasn't too long before I began to itch here and there realizing those tiny little black flies were feasting on my person. Having a thick head of hair is no deterrent, either. They are quite adept at reaching the scalp, flying up pant legs or sleeves without being felt or noticed.

A few summers back, when we were country newbies, hubs decided to shave his head as the weather warmed. It actually suited him quite well! So, one day he trotted off to work in the garden, sans bug spray and/or sunscreen. Well, it was near the death of him. His poor scalp was eaten alive by black flies and flaming red from sunburn. In fact, he had been bitten so badly that he came down with flu-like symptoms. My poor baby.

I came home one afternoon to find him lying on the couch with a fever. My first view was of the top of his head. I gasped, then my jaw dropped as I stared at what looked like an alien reclining on my couch. The skin had tightened from being sunburned, then cracked and all those bites had been weeping. It was not a pretty site but I bit my tongue and made sure he wasn't needing a trip to the emergency war. He was overcome with discomfort, but he lives to talk about it. As much as we both dislike using bug spray, it's become a necessary evil.

And with that, I'll leave you with a little song about the lovely little black fly.


  1. Michelle, I am currently sporting four painful and weeping bites - 2 on my neck, 2 on my leg.
    I hate black flies!

  2. I certainly feel for you. I don't get much of a reaction from them... just itchy for a couple days but the horse flies!! If I get bit on, say the inside of my arm, I end up with a massive welt and swollen glands. Somewhere in my archives here I talk about our screened 'room' and horse fly bite with photo. I almost went to the emergency ward, it was that bad.

  3. I love this!~so clever.
    The music is really great!
    When we lived in upstate NY, in the Adirondacks, the black flies were bad in spring. They would swarm like bees. When camping, there were these older ladies in a canoe w/nets over their hats, puffin on cigars while fishing to keep them at bay. :)

  4. That is just too funny. I find the season somewhat short lived and that's just fine with me!

  5. Poor Hubs! I am waiting for them to strike here. Love the song Michelle! You may have to join my friend who uses a beekeepers garb to do her gardening!!! Not too pretty..... :)

  6. Ha! No way... I'll just retreat to the lovely screened-house-that-I'm-not-supposed-to-call-a-room.

    Hubs is the gardener. I am the reaper.

    Horseflies have appeared. Not good.

  7. So funny you posted that - I was just thinking of that song whilst being munched on by the ever present fly posse as I was planting. My son Spencer and I heard that song on CBC several years ago and now then we burst into a spontaneous chorus...which totally puzzles folks down south in the dry lands.

    Thanks for the link.

    Note to hubs: As a lite skinned and folically challenged dude myself, I suggest an investment in really cool hats.

  8. We found at a yard sale many years ago a VHS tape called Wacky Musical Stories put out by the National Film Board of Canada.On it are The Cat Came Back, Juke-Bar, Blackfly Song and Getting Started. My kids loved it for a long time. My favorite is The Cat Came Back but my second is the Blackfly Song.

  9. Ah, yes, and the cat came back, the very next day (they thought he was a goner). Funny one.

    I wonder who would remember the anti-smoking 'cartoon' from around the same era of the beautiful woman reclining on a chaise lounge with an unlit cigarette. She breathes "Light me, Harry" and the cigarette snakes down the winding stairs to Harry who is goo-goo to light the mile long cigarette, chase it as she smokes all the way to the boudoir, only to find an old withered lady. Man! That was some cigarette.