6.07.2005

Aggravation Incarnate

Allow me to introduce to you, just in case you've never had the pleasure, a biting fly of the genus Chrysops. Commonly known as a deer fly, I prefer to think of it as aggravation incarnate. Yes, it's true, there are a very few animals I just plain don't like (but to be honest, I can appreciate them in context) and this one is tops on that list.

It's not so much that they bite -- they do, and quite viciously -- it's that they torture you first by flying about your head and face, crashing into your ears, flying up your nose, even going behind your glasses. ARGH...makes my blood pressure go up just thinking about it.



But they are sort of pretty when you take the time to look at them...

...just before you squish them!


************
Addendum: The kind and knowledgeable folks over at BugGuide.net have informed me that the top photo is of a female Chrysops vittatus. Now I can curse them properly and with respect :)

14 comments:

chryscat said...

BWAHAHAHAHAHAHA!
Swampy, you coldblooded fly murdering woman. And yes, they hurt like a sonofagun.
And a turtle story: We have a turtle which lives under our house. It comes out once in awhile, and the kids love it. The oldest was feeding it blackberries, and it had this cute little purple ring all around it's mouth. Normally, I'm not a turtle lover, but this little guy is CUTE!
Grins*

Mr. Bloggerific Himself said...

Purple ring around the mouth? Ancient Chinese Secret time!

Swampy I don't see the "pretty" part, but I can see what you'd wanna squish 'em. They remind me of the green AMC Hornet my sister drove to college.

Watchmania said...

ha! My pet hate is cockchafers. In May and June, they smack into your head like golfballs and you have to take a tennis racquet with you if you venture out in the evenings.

the dharma bum said...

oh man, deerflies.
agghh...

you're right how the worst part is them torturing you. as they buzz around your head you end up knocking your glasses off or dropping your paddle or fishing rod... THEN they bite you.

i know they all have some grand purpose, but sometimes you just gotta get your revenge.

swamp4me said...

Chryscat! How can anyone not be a turtle lover?! *is shocked and in disbelief*

thingfish23 said...

The "mushing" picture is a classic. Nicely done!

Your first photo there looks like it's in better focus than the one you posted on bugguide, SW4Me.

??

Wayne said...

Yep, we've got 'em too. I hates 'em, I hates 'em forever. My first encounter each year goes on the calendar - they were a bit late this year. Fortunately they seem to peak in June or July here, and then they're gone.

I've discovered that as they orbit your head you can clap your hands above your head a few times and at least half the time you'll get it. If you're wearing workgloves your chances are even better.

One does look a little odd though.

swamp4me said...

Thingfish, I used Picasa to sharpen the image I posted to the blog. The image I posted to BugGuide was loaded from my camera's software and sharpen isn't an option with that.

Wayne, my husband has been known to actually bite and then spit out the ones that fly into his mouth while he is running -- UGH and YUCK.

the dharma bum said...

the trick with clapping your hands works on houseflies, I've found... rather than trying to swat them (never works) if you just clap together right above wherever they're hanging out, you'll almost always get 'em... something to do with how they fly, apparently when they take off they first go straight up, then forward. how this affects swatting down or clapping your hands together, I haven't quite figured out.

funny to be talking about the best way to kill things on a nature blog like this, but I'd say they declared war a long time ago...

Keith, RN said...

Can't blame you for squishing the fly. Speaking of squishing and turtles in the same breath, I have now stopped my car and carried two turtles to safety as they crossed the road in the morning traffic this week. I hate the sight of a squished turtle in the road....

swamp4me said...

Keith, I can't stand to see turtles squished either. We have so many turtles around here it is practically a full time job keeping them off the road. Glad to know you're a turtle guardian, too.

Anvilcloud said...

I never know whether we get deerflies or horseflies at the cottage, but they circle you like mad if you're swimming and take big chunks out. Yuck!

the dharma bum said...

not to get too morbid, but there was just a story in the news about a little girl killed while running out into the road to save a turtle.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/worldlatest/story/0,1280,-5059634,00.html

be careful.

i was riding shotgun in a friend's car back in high school and we were maybe a little too close to the car in front of us on a gravel road. a bee flew in the car and we both got distracted trying to get it out, when we looked up the car in front of us was stopping for a turtle and we rear-ended them. nobody hurt, but pretty unfortunate.

not that i'm against rescuing turtles...

swamp4me said...

the dharma bum brings up a good point. Be extra careful when resucing anything from the road. People have been seriously injured or killed while trying to rescue animals or even when stopping to help a fellow motorist in distress.

It's a harsh world out there sometimes.