Tuesday, July 10, 2012

“Mosquitoes remind us that we are not as high up on the food chain as we think” - Tom Wilson

Every once in a while TEB has to travel inland to pay a visit to land-locked relatives. I traveled 200 miles north last weekend to attend a family picnic at my cousin's house located in Levy County.   Like most of the southeastern US, the Nature Coast of Florida has been experiencing drought-like conditions for several years now. Thanks to Tropical Storm Debby, Florida got a much needed drenching.  Everything is green & growing, the frogs are croaking in crescendo, and the mosquitoes are proliferating  with a vengeance.  My weekend in the swampy coastal hammock where my cousin lives was in the state of mosquito plague. 

 My cousin's cousin came with his mosquito truck and blew around the property...twice.  My cousin's husband donned his full body mosquito net suit that he uses for hunting and sprayed the perimeter of the house with a hand-held fogger.  I doused myself in my fancy botanical insect repellent made from Lemon Eucalyptus.  The little buggers actually yelled "sucker" at me before they covered ever available uncovered fleshy surface of my body.  I upgraded my defense to Cutter Deep Woods with deet.  I figured my malathion intake from breathing the mosquito fogger would make the deet issue a moot point.  Swarms of blood-sucking, disease-carrying insects aside the week-end was a wonderful family get together.  

One of my favorite stops in Blogville lives in the same neck of the woods.  Pure Florida  is a 10th generation native  Floridian who worked as a National Park Service Ranger for 8 years.  He now works as a high school science teacher.  His blog is an enjoyable look at the real Florida through the eyes of someone who loves the land and the creation it contains.  He has a fancy little camera that shoots some really cool video too.  His latest post contains a video of his take on the mosquito eruption.  Take time to peruse his archives to experience some really authentic Florida culture from Datil peppers that he grows and makes into hot sauce to zip lining, rattlesnakes, shrimping on the St. Johns River to snorkling videos of springs and Cedar Key.

I donned my mosquito gear to get a foto of the owls hanging out in the front yard.

He doesn't look too happy about the mosqitoes either.

The latest fashion in mosquito chic from Gulf Hammock, Florida.