Sunday, January 9, 2011
Moving - Part II
At the beginning of June, 1991, we packed all our belongings and our two cats, Rufous and Teline, into a UHaul truck and headed north. I was a bit worried about the two city cats, but they settled in right away, started hunting, and never seemed to miss their city life at all. They learned to watch out for the foxes, owls, coyotes, cougars, and whatever other predators might threaten a cat, and both lived to a ripe old age. At the time we arrived here, they were the only non-human animals living with us.
The insect life of the Cariboo back-country was waking up by the time we started building. I had never experienced mosquitoes like this before. It was almost impossible for me to stay still outside; I was continuously waving my arms around, swatting mosquitoes and brushing them off my hair and face. I was clothed head-to-foot despite the warm weather. We started getting up at about 4:30 a.m. so we could pick berries until the bugs came out. Then we'd come home and start our working day. I finally borrowed a mosquito net to wear over my head for days when I had to hold one end of a level for Charles, but the net was stiflingly hot.
Then, at the beginning of July, the blackflies came out. The best thing that can be said about them is that they make mosquitoes seem insignificant. However, I made it through tht month, and in August, the bug situation improved a lot. These days, either the insect population is much reduced or my tolerance is much increased, because they aren't nearly as bothersome. I use an insect repellent with DEET when I really need to, but that isn't often. It's winter now, but when spring comes, I'll describe some of the other, more natural, ways we deal with biting insects.