So there I was today, in a bikini — yes, my naturist/nudist friends, a bikini — planning to take my first dip of the season in the lake when a horde of black flies had me beating a hasty retreat.

And, yes, they drew the first blood of the season from me.

Female black fly. (Wikipedia)

They are ferocious little creatures, but they do serve some good purposes in the ecological scheme of things, not the least of which is being food for bats — though, I am seeing fewer and fewer bats these past few years, which is very worrisome because they are something like the canary in the coal mine when it comes to warnings about the environment.

As for the bikini, well, I had written that I was going to buy a micro-kini to wear when there are people around who would be offended by the sight of a naked person. I was in Sears recently and came across some bikinis on sale for a mere $19, so I bought one for the rare occasion I will be forced to cover up. Today, my neighbours were around with their kids, so I figured I’d try out the bikini.

Never got to take the plunge thanks to the black flies . . . I’ll try again next weekend.

But I really took an instant disliking to the bikini as soon as I put it on, and I can only imagine how awful it will feel when I am swimming. Still, covering up is a compromise all of us naturists have to make at times, to keep the peace.

And the black flies are a compromise we country folks have to live with if we want to live in the Laurentians.

It could be worse . . .

Good weather finally seems to have arrived after one of the most miserable spring periods I have ever see.

And for this I am so grateful.

On another note: Monday is a holiday in Canada, marking Victoria Day. We are still honouring Queen Victoria? Yes, apparently, as ridiculous as that might seem. I mentioned this to a couple of colleagues the other day, and we all had a laugh about it, with one suggesting we have a holiday to honour Genghis Khan, too. Hey, why not, I said. And how about one for Helen of Troy, I suggested . . . Yes, we giggled a lot.

With the nice weather returning, people seem to be so much happier . . . as do the black flies.

— Jillian

Top photo: Black flies attack in the Canadian arctic, Dubawnt River Nunavu. Forunately, they don’t get this bad in my neck of the wood. But they could still kill a person who is not protected. Photo credit: Nicolas Perrault/Wikipedia