Some (forced) observations of summer.

The title of this post reflects what this writer feels like every time he approaches his raspberry bramble. While the initial blush is off the harvest, every day is still producing at least a quart-container sized harvest. At this pace, not only will the neighbors (all of whom but one have received ‘donations’ of berries) have been saturated, but most of my friends and my own freezer too will be screaming “Enough, already!”. Have I created a monster? Should I get out the bush hog (or my personal version, an old sickle) and begin carving away?

NAAAAAAAAHHHH, that’d just make’em angry!

I wonder, do you think the DoD would notice if I “borrowed” a small tactical nuke? Part of me wonders if this is the only way I’ll ever be able to get my bramble under control, or something nearly as radical, something along the lines of a real hard-core herbicide like Agent Orange. Not a lot else I can imagine stands a chance of having any real effect.

One thing that all this outdoor work is doing is giving me a chance to find out just how far science has to go yet in dealing with that most common of all deterrents to outdoor fun in temperate climates: the mosquito. I’ve mentioned my run-ins with these blood-sucking minions of Hell in the past, but with the increase in West Nile virus in my area, trying to keep from being bit is becoming a more serious issue.

Problem is, I have yet to find an effective means of keeping the little buggers at bay. The most recent experiment has been to use one of those clip-on repellent dispersers that you often see advertised on TV. Sold by that old stand-by brand name Off, they are billed as the solution to keeping yourself free of unwanted attention from your local mosquito population.

DON’T THEY FREAKIN’ WISH!

From this writer’s own personal (and bitter) experience, the Off clip-on is more of a placebo, making it’s wearer feel more secure, than anything that actually keeps mosquitoes away. Sunny weather or cloudy; warm, hot or not; no matter, it just plain don’t work!

What to do instead? Wear long sleeves, jeans and a hat to keep as much of your body covered as you can, and make sure that it all fits a little loose. It won’t protect you completely, but it will give you a fair amount of protection….and it’s a hell of a lot cheaper than then those stupid little clip-on things!

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