Saw Fly? These little blitters are nasty! The ones I tend to suffer with are usually Sand Flies and tend to hang out on the beach in the sandy areas. They are big, but not to be mistaken for horseflies which are even bigger, uglier, and meaner!
Now, it's a common fact that I despise flies and can't stand them in any shape or form, but show me a sand fly and I'll run screaming and crying up the beach. Literally. No joke.
Point in case? Last year we had an over abundance of sand flies on the beach. They'd lay in wait for me and the minute I popped my ipod in and was running up the beach (before the knee incident) they'd pop out and attack. Their shadows loom large and bold behind you and you can see them coming. They'd sit on my legs and then mid stride they'd use their saws to rip my leg open causing me to scream. Several times last summer I was spotted doing some funky karate style chopping while running head first into waves. Really. Other walkers who had the misfortune of witnessing this actually stopped to admire my idiocy, but never once asked if I needed help.
This summer our weather has been freaky and goes between being excessively wet (floods) and excessively cold (after the rain), so it took a while for the warm weather to come in. The only upside to the delay was the lack of miserable sand flies. Our first encounter happened the weekend we were away camping. I spotted one crawling up my leg and I screamed, freaking my poor in-laws out, and then proceeded to slap at it, stomp it, and then place a stone on top of it and further burry it in the sand. There was lots of wide eyed staring followed by great gobs of guffawing.
On the beach that weekend we were fighting a few off and, much to the delight of those present, I explained that when I normally see one on the beach I scream run in circles, karate chop and then dive into the water. There was a lot more laughter followed by some comments of, "That's awfully extreme isn't it?"
Sure, it's extreme if you're normally bitten by an insect of any kind, get a slight bump and a small itch for maybe a few minutes or 24 hours. But I don't. I get a massive welt that swells and swells for days on end. I itch so badly that I've been known to scratch myself raw. None of that, however can be compared with this:
This is the zone of two sand fly bites three weekends ago. What you can't see is not only is it bruised and ugly looking it's still slightly swollen and around the other side is a bit of bruising as well. It's ugly! It still gives me waves of itching that my allergy medicine isn't touching. So yeah, I think I'm pretty warranted in running screaming in complete fear!
Because I know inquiring minds will want to know, yes I snapped that photo of the sand fly at the top of this post, just before it tried to bite me! While the boys were flying kites I was looking for bits of this: