By Alkali Springs Correspondent
As we write these words and well before you gentle readers will be reading them, it is supposed to freeze. To date it has not and we are paying a huge price in the beautiful Bear Paws and out on the prairies because of it.
White-tailed deer are getting a virus and dying. That is caused by a gnat bite, but once it freezes, the gnats will be no more. However, until that happens, there are bodies of white-tail all the way down the Milk River Valley from Havre to Harlem and beyond. Residents say that the stench of rotting deer meat in their fields is unbelievable. Just another first in this year of mostly terrible firsts that continue to happen!
Out our way nothing is dying but the flies that we are trying to kill! Never since we have been spending time in the mountains (and that is the last 50 years, at least) have we seen anything like the flies of late.
Not only that, but we live in what we think is an air-tight cabin. It is so bad that if it doesn't freeze soon, we are in town for the duration.
In the mornings we have no flies that put in an appearance. But by later in the afternoon, say around 3 p.m., they are out in droves. There will be a dozen or so on each window. We kill them and a little later there is another dozen to take their places.
Then there are the flies that do not land except for a moment. They are the absolute devils. Maybe they buzz us, land on a knee, then quickly fly (pardon the pun) off again. They completely disappear when we go on the hunt, only to reappear to drive us crazy maybe 20 minutes later. We cannot catch any of them. The big fat black ones are easy to kill. Only problem with them is that for every one that we kill, there are 12 to take the dead one's place!
We use fly paper, those fly things that emit poison over a long period of time, and we have sprayed so much fly spray in the cabin that we are probably a walking time bomb for fly spray cancer.
To make matters even worse, our dog hates flies, and when one buzzes overhead he will jump six inches straight into the air from a dead sleep. Needless to say, neither of us is getting much sleep these days.
Then there are the hornets. They are coming in, too. They are susceptible to some kind of hornet spray, except they do not die. They lie on the floors wiggling until they bite us when we step on them in the middle of the night.
One thing we have learned this fall about hornets. We think they are like angleworms. You just can't kill them. You can get an ax out and chop one into 12 pieces. Each piece seems to have a life of its own. Spoooooky!
Now, we realize that our fly problem is not nearly as bad as those people with dying deer all around them or the people who have no water except what they can haul. But it is the pits for us! There had better be a freeze and soon, or you will see a want ad in the Havre Daily that starts out "Cabin for sale, cheap!"