One of my other “super-powers” that I’ve had since childhood is a powerful attractiveness to any and all biting insects and arachnids. We lived in Minnesota for the first several years of my life and my mother said she used to have to drag me inside in the summers because the enormous horse flies were either going to eat me alive or pick me up and take me away.
If I haven’t mentioned in a previous post, a few years ago, we spent a good deal of time and money adding a deck and landscaping to our backyard. It’s not nothing, when you have a small house, to create outdoor living space to be used anytime you possibly can. For us here in the Pacific Northwest, outdoor season can be February through October, depending on the year and your tolerance for sprinkles, clouds, heat/cold, etc. But sadly, much of the outdoor season coincides with the bug season. One of the reasons February is my favorite month is that February exists firmly in the section of the Venn Diagram in outdoor and NOT in bug season.
First come the mosquitoes. By the time winter is done, we’re anxious to get out kayaking and the water levels are nice and high. But the mosquitoes are also lively. Every time we get to spend any time out in the water from mid-March into June, I come home itching like mad. Then flies. Not biting as much, but definitely annoying. But now, for the last week or two, it’s the mother of all sub-seasons; its spider-season.
During spider-season, I have to be careful about where I walk in the backyard. I’ve strolled straight through overnight spiderwebs at least twice so far this year. We also need to wash all our bedding way more often, because before long, every morning, I wake up with a half-dozen fresh bites on my legs, itchy and red.
You’re probably wondering why I call my bug attractiveness a “super-power.” You’re probably thinking, ‘If that was me, I would be pissed! Who would think of that as a super-power?” Zoom out! Think about the system. There are bugs out there, and they need to feed somehow. The cost to me is lower than to others out there as I’m not allergic or anything, so my super-power is to be able to take the punch for all those who hang around me so that they might be spared. My itchy bites are usually short lived and relatively calm, so better me than you. But keep inviting me to your dinner parties. If I’m able to make it, I’ll be your human citronella candle.