Anyone who reads this blog knows I can go off into raptures about nature in all its forms. However, living in the country brings home the dark side of Mother Nature. As I told a dear friend of mine today, I had considered myself on top of the food chain. Black flies do not appear to have been informed of their position on the hierarchy and have bitten me unmercifully over the past week. In spite of bug spray, bug jackets, ugly nerdy looking hats with nets attached and a nineteen-thirties look around the feet due to pants tucked into socks, they were not deterred. A couple of the little blighters even managed to get into the house and I awoke on Wednesday morning with my eye swollen shut due to a vicious bite just below the eyebrow. The local pharmacist was quite impressed with my chest – not the first to have exhibited a vivid interest if I do say so myself. Unfortunately, her awe struck gaze was due to a livid string of welts. “Like Christ before he was put on the cross.” was a rather dramatic description by my boyfriend. I doubt Our Saviour was afflicted by the intense itching behind the ears and down my legs incurred by the damned black flies. I had great hopes that the pharmacist would produce some miracle salve – this is 2017 for heaven’s sake. She led me confidently down an aisle and triumphantly produces a bottle of ……calamine lotion. Sixty years ago this chalky liquid was slathered over my legs after I fell into a patch of stinging nettles. Crushed I was led whimpering out of the pharmacy.
Yesterday was a hot and humid day. I helped a bit with the garden and took refuge in the cool house hoping to catch an episode of Coronation Street. It was not to be. At exactly 4 pm – air time for my favorite dose of British working class soap opera, a tornado hit our house. With amazing speed a storm packing gale force winds, torrential rain, thunder and hail engulfed our house and land. I was convinced the living room window was going to blow in and took shelter in the bathroom. The picture shows a substantial tree that was uprooted during the ten minute storm. Many trees in the neighborhood were felled and we had no power for six hours.
So, you can perhaps understand that my feelings towards Mother Nature are a little cooler than usual. I know all moms can have bad days but really, I shall expect some pretty spectacular lilac to make up for this.