Thursday, September 24, 2009

berries and blackflies

We picked a few highbush cranberries yesterday . . . another sign that fall is advancing and winter is nearing, and a nice diversion from our usual autumnly routines. No, "autumnly" isn't a word, but it sounds poetic. Not that I ever wanted to be a poet . . . but I'm off topic. Actually, my blogger spell checker says that "highbush" isn't a word either. I guess I'm supposed to spell it "high bush," but this is my blog and I make the rules. Besides, my WordPerfect spell checker said it was perfectly okay to spell it highbush. So there. HIGHBUSH. Now, what was my topic again?

I was going to tell you more about the blackflies (WordPerfect disagrees with my blogger spell check on that word too, by the way). They didn't totally ruin the cranberry expedition, but they definitely gave it their best shot. These pestiferous little devils seem to be increasing with the balmy, unseasonable weather. When I first stepped outside I thought, "Wow, what a glorious day." The illusion lasted until the first blackfly found me. I'm convinced they communicate through some kind of ESP or something, because in a matter of minutes a complete galaxy of buzzing, black insects was orbiting around my head. The emergency services could learn something about communication from these creatures. Screw the radios - tap into the telepathic connection of the blackfly.

I can see it now . . . the firefighters of the 22nd century . . . a fire occurs and hordes of responders descend from all directions, buzzing in on their transparent little computer wings, their commander telepathically giving orders to all 1,000,000 of them simultaneously . . . I think the overload of blackfly venom in my bloodstream has gone to my head. I'll stick to Motorollas.

Speaking of communication, check out my article on the topic by clicking here.

The moose seem to be on the move these days. Perhaps they're being chased by blackflies. We've been to three moose vs vehicle collisions in September, and when my pager went off at 6:00 AM this morning I thought it was going to be another one. The location was reportedly about 30 km west of Upsala, right in the middle of what I call Moose Lane. Playing tag with a moose is never a good idea, by the way. They really know how to mess up a nice car.

Once at the scene, we found it was tractor trailers playing tag with each other, a potentially deadly game. I'm not sure exactly what happened, but from the looks of the one truck, they missed a head-on collision by a few inches. That's never a nice way to play . . . it does happen sometimes, but you don't want me to tell you about it. We did see a moose in Moose Lane, but he apparently had other things on his agenda than smucking someone's car.

Speaking of dangerous stuff, two firefighters nearly lost their lives in Ontario this month. You can read about it here and here. By all reports, they are doing well now.

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