Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Sometimes it hurts to do this.....

This may look like an idyllic northern Wisconsin lake on a beautiful summer afternoon.
And it is....
but it was also my own personal bug hell. By that I mean that I was accosted by thousands of black flies and then later by hoards of ginormous and persistent mosquitoes.
It had rained the day before and I was lucky enough to have some rubber boots with me so wet feet weren't going to be a problem. The thing is, I was wearing shorts and as soon as I got out of the car I had swarms of black flies buzzing around me and biting any and all exposed skin. 
The sky looked promising and I thought the lake might make for some beautiful images, so I took my camera and tripod and headed off into the woods. So far so good, the bugs weren't that big of deal as I walked towards the lake shore.
It was only once I reached the shore and began to set up my tripod that the real assault began. The black flies were swarming in such numbers that their buzzing started to affect me. The incessant humming up and around my head and face almost made it seem like my body was actually vibrating. Meanwhile dozens of their kind were feeding on my exposed skin. Not only on my thighs, and knees, and upper calves, but inside the boots down to my ankles and up under my shorts. Their bites were painful and caused red welts and marks that lasted more than a week.

But the light was good, and the view was better so I stuck with it long enough to make these images. Once I made it back to the car I was relieved to be out of the bug swarm but kept shivering (almost like when you've seen something really scary and get the heebee jeebees). I seemed to be having bad feeling flashbacks to my bug experience.
Though the light had left my little lake there was still light in the sky as I drove down the road searching for another lake to reflect any possible sunset.
At Clam Lake I walked down to the shore and was fed on by an even larger hoard of mosquitoes. These weren't any regular sized mosquitoes, these were super sized.
Notice the many dots and specks in this photo...
each and every one is a mosquito, and I think every one of them bit me before I finally left.
I set the camera on a tripod, composed the image, focused, used my hat to wave it in front of the lens in order to move all of the mosquitoes, and  pressed the remote shutter release. There were just too many, no mater what I did the ridiculous number of bugs remained in the images. All the while an equal or greater number of ginormous mosquitoes were biting me everywhere imaginable. 

If nothing else, this was a new personal record for number of bug bites sustained and discomfort tolerated.

P.S. I don't know if it's true or what it means, but I looked up both species of bugs after I got home and read that it's only the females that bite.

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