So here we are in Paradise. We drive eleven miles out on the peninsula toward Point Abbaye. (“Are you sure we didn’t drive forty miles?” the driver asked.) You have to drive really slow. Twenty, thirty miles an hour. You wind slowly through tall trees on sandy roads. It takes forever.
A strong breeze blew across the peninsula. The waves crashed against the rocks. It was an ideal day to visit our beloved Point.
I never once thought about the killer flies.
OK, they’re not really killer flies. They are actually biting flies which hang out along the shores of Lake Superior in the summertime. Usually June and July. They don’t always present themselves. Some days they congregate with fierce bites, threatening to eat you alive. I mean bite you alive. Other days, they are not even present.
Who would have thought they would be visible on a high-wind day? Why didn’t the wind cooperate to blow them away? Why?
We didn’t notice them at first. We meandered out along the west shore. Lovely crashing waves! Magnificent red rocks! Wonderful Lake Superior! Delightful Point Abbaye!
And then we turned onto the point itself. The very tip-top of the peninsula. One of the most lovely views around.
Owww! Slap! Slap! Slap! Owww….
The killer flies attacked. And I mean attacked. Ask my friend, Melinda, who visited from California a few years ago. It’s like a scene out of the Alfred Hitchcock classic “The Birds”. (For a one minute and forty-second YouTube synopsis of The Birds click here.)
You can hardly describe the horror of these flies. You are suddenly, completely, surrounded by biting flies. And the bites hurt. A lot.
And now my daughter knows–first hand–the horror of it. We tried to snap a few more photos. We couldn’t.
We began to run, helter-skelter, through the woods, seeking the forest path that cuts through the peninsula back to the parking lot.
“Run, run!” I called, screaming. Well, I probably wasn’t screaming. But the call was insistent as I ran through the forest, attempting to outrun the killer flies. I mean the wildly biting flies.
We leapt into the car. Then began the killing frenzy. Killing the straggling biters which had leapt into the car with us. Slap, slap, slap. Die, you biting flies! We are sorry. We are peace-loving souls, but we can’t live with you a minute longer.
Kiah did venture out again to the western beach–to gather a few flat rocks to bring home. I sat in the car grumbling and slapping.
We started the engine and headed back home. Along the way we spotted a multitude of raspberries dangling red and juicy and ripe on roadside bushes. We paused to pick handfuls.
At the end of our picking spree, we opened the car door and prepared to drive off. When suddenly we looked down at my seat. Apparently, upon entering the car in wild frenzy, I had brought in at least 20-30 of the creatures on the seat of my shorts. Sat on ’em. Crushed them all. At least two dozen carcasses lay on my seat.
“Why did they like me more than you?” I whined to my daughter.
“They liked to eat local,” she replied.
We’re still laughing.