It was eighty-two today and so humid you could have steamed cabbage on the hood of my car. While I was Weeding For Dollars, the sweat was just pouring from me, running into my eyes, down my back and other places that no one wants to know anything at all about. Well, except probably my husband who is on the payroll for that kind of interest. Everything was making me itch, grass, dirt, bugs, my hair, my clothes, everything! We have a type of mosquito here that folks call 'Marsh Mosquitoes.' I don't know what species they actually are, but I can tell you they bite with a vengeance. Even though they are smaller than other kinds of 'squitoes,' they pack a mean, painful wallop when they bite. This is accentuated by heat and the salt in sweat. It's also Horse fly season. For those of you from 'away,' those are biting flies. I don't know if they are called Horse flies because they annoy horses, or if it's because they are so huge. You know, big as a horse. Probably somebody from away said they were "as big as a house," which would make sense. That got changed over time to "big as a horse," because in Maine we add 'Rs' to most words that don't have them and remove the Rs from words that should have them. You get the idear. They are impossible to repel and difficult to kill. You have to actually let one start to bite you so that it's distracted, then slap the hell out of it from behind so it doesn't see your hand coming. If you are lucky and hit it, what is the hand of doom for the Horse fly also leaves a smart slap on your ownself. You can see why some people go nuts in these situations and run, screaming into the woods never to be heard from again. I've been driven near to that more than a few times myself. Today though, instead of insanity, I decided to go to Popham Beach after my dues had been paid at the end of my trusty garden trowel. My intention was to take photographs of the Common terns and maybe some Osprey. Scanning the skies, I didn't see enough action to bother getting out of my car though and there wasn't any place left to park, either. So, I headed home, despondent and still itching. Before the state park entrance, there is a huge salt marsh on both sides of the road. At a great distance across the marsh, I could see a brown lump. At first, I thought it was a Red fox. When I pulled the car over, I could see that it was a White-tailed deer fawn. It was about an eight of a mile away which meant I couldn't get very good photographs. So, there was nothing to do but head out across the marsh. In all my life of travelling the road through that marsh, I have only ever seen someone out there once. That was duck hunters in February. At least, I had rubber shoes on for gardening. This may have been part of my heat intolerance since my poor dogs were just a boilin' in there, thus the reference earlier to steamed cabbage. But, that did save me from getting soaked. I had to go a long way out there and slowly so as not to spook the little darling deer. Every few yards, I would step into a mud hole and rile up the stench of heated, rotting vegetation. At some point, the fawn laid down in the grass. It was so camouflaged that it was nearly impossible to see it and a couple of times, I lost it completely. Eventually, I was stopped by the channel. I stood there for nearly an hour waiting for Bambi to stand up, hoping and praying that she would. All the while, I had to be still. This made me a prime, juicy target for the voracious mosquitoes and Horse flies. The Green Heads, another biting monster of a fly, also joined the party. Since I was nearly up to my ass in grass, I was also very worried about ticks. And, do you think I was smart enough to be wearing a hat for this outing in Phippsburg's answer to the Sahara Desert? Oh, no. Of course not. I could only have been more suitably attired for this gig had I been wearing my bathrobe. I nearly gave up when finally the fawn stood up and looked right at me. I couldn't have been more thrilled! Now, I must go call a plastic surgeon for some skin grafting for my third degree sunburn and find a pair of tweezers. Don't ask for what.
Just in case you thought I was joshin' ya, do you see a deer in here? I used to love Highlights magazine when I was a kid. This is the kind of 'quiz' they used to have. Believe me, there is a deer in there.