The Bugs are gone

The bugs are gone

Why am I smiling? The bugs are finally gone. The deer flies, which make riding a miserable experience during the summer, have vanished, along with the super high temperatures and humidity. Finally a day when I could meet up with friends and enjoy a summer ride.

Today's ride through Concord
We took a route today through Estabrook Woods to Punkatasset, around Hutchins Pond.

Zelda was glad to have the company. She was full of energy and insisted on leading the way (she is very sensitive to bugs so is miserable during the height of the deer fly season). Since the beginning of July, the woods have been “off limits” because of the deer flies — no matter how much fly spray or how much netting, it simply ruined the experience. Today we did a great ride that took us on wooded trails, around two small ponds and through open fields.

Our route took us through Estabrook Woods to Punkatasset, around Hutchins Pond and then along a small trail that is only passable when it’s been quite dry. Not that many people have been out that deep into the woods so much of the trail was overgrown. Not the best time to be riding a big horse! We had to turn back once, but we pushed through most of the brush. It’s helpful that Zelda likes to bushwhack.

In total, we covered about six miles, mostly at a leisurely pace, enjoying the cool morning and the brilliant sunshine. For the most part we had the trail to ourselves. At the beginning, Zelda and came across a magnificent buck, but he melted back into the trees before he became a reason to spook.

All in all a great time to be out with friends.

View of the pond
Some views never get old. I have so many photos of this pond and they are all amazing.
Welcome back
Freedom is always very pleased to see us come home. He showed a real turn of speed racing around his paddock as we approached.

One thought on “The Bugs are gone

  1. Have you considered using swallows to combat your bugs? I have at least 30 nesting boxes set up in my five acres. Every year the violet-green and tree swallows come in en masse, raise two broods and destroy fly and mosquito populations. That’s not counting the barn swallows that routinely nest in the barn. If you are with a mile or so of a pond or a river, you can attract purple martins (our largest swallow). And there are cliff swallows nesting on the side of my garage. With these five species of swallows (tree, violet-green, barn, cliff and purple martin) I don’t HAVE bugs. Oh, there are the bumblebees, but the swallows prefer to eat flying insects, like flies and mosquitoes. True, not all of the boxes host swallows, some of them house western bluebirds who have us trained to feed them mealworms and in return, they go through my lawn and pick off the crane fly larvae.

    I know, there are people who don’t like barn swallows because they sometimes poop on one’s horse. To me, that’s a small price to pay for a natural bug killer that you don’t have to spray or even feed. And yes, cliff swallows can be messy…but once they’ve fledged their babies, they’re gone and you can knock down the nests and hose down the side of the building.

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