Wednesday, May 09, 2012

Sunscreen failure

No, I didn't get sunburned. I wanted to try sunscreen to see if it would keeps gnats off of me. I put some on after work yesterday and headed for the same spot where the gnats drove me away last time. At first I thought it was helping, but it turns out that it was very breezy and the gnats were just getting blown away. When I got to a place where the breeze was blocked, they closed in.

I got a picture of a female gilded flicker before the gnats attacked.

I also saw something I had never noticed before; new growth on a saguaro that's red.

I was talking to a guy at work and he was surprised that there were gnats out in the desert. I guess he's used to gnats that cluster around water, and he hasn't been out in the desert much. He was also surprised they could be so bothersome. Imagine a dozen little bugs trying at all costs to get into your nose, eyes, and ears and a dozen crawling on each arm. It is very annoying. You can't enjoy the scenery because you're constantly blinking and swatting. The gnats are so bad this year I may even resort to insect repellent.

I took a few pictures of this rock hoping that the crystals glinting in the sun would show up. I didn't even notice the circular patterns because the gnats wouldn't let me look at it long enough.

It's a shame it was so gnatty this week. The highs have only been about 90, which is very nice for hiking (if you're in the desert, where evaporation effectively cools you).

There's got to be something I can do about them that doesn't involve coating myself in noxious, irritating chemicals. Maybe if I made a paper mache head with big, watery eyes (saline solution) and waxy ears and a boogery nose (what could I use for artificial boogers?), they would be more attracted to it than to me. Sort of a Zaphod Beeblebrox look. I'll think of something. Actually, my favorite idea is a Tim the Toolman style of camera strobe that would vaporize their wings. I'd probably hurt myself, though. Click below to see all of the pictures.


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