|Here they are up inside the fly net.|
This year's bush flies obviously hadn't read the ad!
My fetching fly net, purchased in desperation after unladylike curses became the norm rather than the exception, came complete with a draw cord around the neck (best not to think too much about what would happen if it got caught on a branch) and the little buggers found some tiny spots where they could sneak up inside the mesh, then saunter up to see what the world looked like from inside the lenses of my prescription sunglasses. You'd think with the way their eyes are arranged they wouldn't be interested, but there they were, balancing on my eyelashes, pirouetting on the arms of my glasses, queueing up to get a turn to see what all the excitement was about.
And of course, now they're inside the flynet, and the drawstring is closed around my neck, I can't get at them can I? They're completely free to wander where they will, inside my ears, up my nose, explore the edges of my tightly shut mouth and worst of all between my eyes and glasses so that I can't even attempt to brush them away.
|Immediately after brushing them off, they're back.|
Bush flies are extremely excitable, it's like they've been guzzling caffein since breakfast. Actually, some of them had, and had managed to drown themselves in the hot brew. I'm not sure how many others had just wandered down into the mug, had a bit of a slurp, then shimmied up and flown off again in that hyperactive way they have. It's not worth making a second mug after fishing out the tiny carcasses. You'd never get to enjoy a cuppa at all. Suicidal flies. Who would have realised!
|My barely damp tee-shirt is being sucked dry.|
You can see them kicking each other aside to get at any hint of delectable moisture. They stand on top of each other and kick and shove. It's amazing to watch. Which I did. Quite a lot. You tend to get a bit fixated when they're this bad. Even the locals were commenting "Me and my ten thousand new best friends went for a walk." Yep, the flies were bad.
|A billionth of a second after pointlessly|
trying to shoo them away.
Then of course there's the danger of breathing. With any sharp intake of breath through nose or mouth, such as the intake of breath with exercise or laughter, there is the danger of breathing in dozens of wriggling little bodies. Learning to be a ventriloquist has never been easier! But it's not so easy to prevent a cough or sneeze. Were you aware that the intake of breath is quite substantial with those perfectly normal functions? Guess how many flies it's possible to kill with the inhalation prior to a sneeze? Naturally this results in more coughing as your body tries to expel the now rather worse for wear intruders. And when you cough you breathe in again. UGH.
As for smiling, such as when telling a joke or sharing news, the rule of thumb is DON'T. It's not that Aussies are taciturn or lacking in humour, but the risk of ingesting unwanted protein is never far from the mind. A couple of blokes we met failed to heed this advice. I doubt I'll ever forget watching flies land on the teeth of a really friendly, smiling bloke, or another spitting little carcasses out of his mouth with monotonous regularity - it was a long and interesting story he was sharing, but I couldn't help but be distracted. ICK.
One day I learnt a new lesson about flies.
When it's a glorious Spring day in the Flinders Ranges and the cicadas are chirruping contentedly, the birds are cheeping and calling with joyous abandon, when flowers are carpeting the ground in ones and two's or hundreds upon thousands, when the sky is blue and flocks of cloud-sheep are being buffeted across the sky by the gentle breeze, and when it's fly season, that brushing your teeth outdoors is, not to put too fine a point on it, positively gross.
Because with all those spring delights of the impossible greens after good rains, the fabulous reds of the soil and amazing blues of the sky, come the little black bush flies. Squadrons of them appear just when you thought there was a break in the barrage and that it was safe to brush your teeth. Brushing your teeth produces froth. Flies like dampness. Froth is damp. Froth escapes from the corners of your mouth. Flies burrow in with glee. Gag, gag, gag.
My son on seeing the photos asks "What's the attraction of going bush mum?" and I don't have an answer.
|A useless attempt to protect my mug of tea from curious invaders.|
Comfortingly I'm reminded that these little irritating bush flies aren't like the common house fly. In comparison they're positively hygienic and unlikely to spread illnesses. Just as well really.