She is resting along the trail on one of the many dikes at the Savannah National Wildlife Refuge, in southeastern South Carolina, some 30 minutes drive from Savannah, Georgia. Gulf Fritillary butterfly (Agraulis vanilla), fresh, exquisite and posing contentedly for Jeff. Yes. There is a but a major but here…but, meanwhile, I was being swarmed by dozens (?) of crazed mosquitoes. Our ‘Technique” feature (Have you seen it?) warns of the need to move robotically, slowly, to insure that the butterfly is not frightened and spooked. Hard to do there and then, with my hands lathered in several species of mosquitoes.
Few bites were made. I had sprayed myself with Off! when I arrived at the Refuge. With my jeans securely tucked into my Red Wing boots, with the aid of blousing garters (Ft. Dix, NJ issue, thanks to the US Army), I sprayed my jeans, front and back, I sprayed the sleeves of my green, long sleeved shirt (LL Bean, cotton), I sprayed my neck, heavily, all around, my ears (exterior only), and the top of my cap (the university that my daughters attended sold a green hat, with just the right green tint to minimize startling butterflies). Yes I sprayed the backs of my hands, reluctantly, but later I was glad that I did. I didn’t spray my faces or forehead. Nor do I apply sun screen to my face, each year causing my dermatologist to give me a good talking to. I don’t apply anything to me face or forehead because…those creams and chemicals soon work down or up into my eyes, causing irritations, and that invariably occurs just as a fantastic butterfly enters my life space!
Many of you may prefer other purchased or home concocted insect repellents. Off! works well for me, very well, in the heavy strengthed aerosol spray can.
So this day I came away lucky, but miffed. I had to stand there and take it from the mini-insect-savages. I would have liked to somehow kapop! them right back, onto their teeny, weeny little backs.
Not the time to discuss, chiggers (Ugh!), biting deer flies (stealth biters!) or horseflies (ambushers, always reminding me of that one that kamikazed me at Black Moshannon State Park in central Pennsylvania).
What have I left out. Never been introduced to fire ants, or africanized bees or….enough, Let me outta! here!
3 thoughts on “Human Sacrifice . . .”
Good grief….as peaceful your butterfly photos look, it sounds like war-time dealing with the rest of the insect kingdom. Can’t you wear a cap saying; ‘I’m here for butterflies only’ or ‘Don’t do unto others what you don’t want others do unto you’, or in short ‘Bug off’?
Despite the big sea waters that separate us…were you able to faintly hear me laughing, as I read your response to ‘Human Sacrifice?’
Most of my field work enjoys peace and is critter-free, there are some locales where if you want the images, and have calendar limits, you must be prepared to serve as………’Human Sacrifice!’
Yep, Jeff, I faintly heard you and all the critters revengefully running after you. By now you must understand that they also want you to take and blog-post their selfies. They simply fail to see why the fluttery butterflies are so much more beautiful than themselves. Most are green from envy! Pretend to take some awesome photos of them and they will happily leave you alone.
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