Marsh marigolds are appearing after a very long winter—spring has finally sprung! Green and yellow are my favorite colors and spring is filled with them. I am always amazed by just how many shades of green that you can see in the spring. The grass, the trees, the plants shoving their way through the ground—all have their unique shades of green.
We live in the woods with trees all around with many swampy areas on our property. When the daffodils and the crocuses have just gone by, we start to look for Caltha palustris commonly known as Kingcup or Marsh Marigold. These pretty little plants belong to the buttercup family and grow in wet, boggy places, such as swampy area’s, ditches and wet woods. Some folks call them weeds but they brighten our woods with their pretty dark green leaves and sunny yellow flowers and leave me with a smile on my face.
Now for the part of living in the Maine that I really could live without. Right about the same time that those pretty flowers begin to pop up—SWARMS of tiny black flies arrive. For those of your not familiar with this tiny insect, they are swarming, blood sucking creatures. I think that we have a few species here but they all look pretty much alike to me. When they first arrive, they just, pardon the pun, bug you. Then within a week or two they BITE.
Some folks laughingly call them our state bird but they are really pretty little. But oh can they bite! I believe that it is the female that craves the blood while the male prefers nectar (probably from those pretty marsh marigolds) 🙂 There are lots of things that folks try to deter those little. Bug dope, light colored clothing, head nets—I am really a fan of ankle nets (they love ankles), sheets of Bounce, and other very unorthodox methods have been tried by Mainer’s. Unfortunately, about the only thing that works is not going out until about July…but then you would’nt get to see the moose and deer along the roadways that are also bugged by those darn bugs. Summers coming and soon the black flies will be just a memory.
Seriously folks, when driving on the roadways, especially in the spring, please watch out for the wildlife that is coming out of the woods to try to escape the black fly. There are many more deer and moose accidents at this time of year.