July 24, 2017

A New Battle With Mosquitoes

Were these mosquitoes late Sunday night in the house because they were small enough to move through the small design of the window screens. I have brand new screens, no holes, and nowhere could I see where they could get in to infiltrate the house and attack me with vengeance just before going to bed. I kept dreaming about them and could feel new bites while I slept.
I know they were mosquitoes because I was killing them at a rapid rate, but where did they come from?

I wondered at the time this morning, why was I putting on my North Face snow boots to keep my feet dry during the walk. The past few days the temperature at 7:30a, was 76-78° and never dropped below the mid 70's during the night. Last night was different, mid-60's ... therefor a lot of heavy dew in the shaded area of the field.

I had not even walked out of the yard yet when my boots were already soaked. I had my first good idea of the day ... wearing the snow boots, rubber tops.

Sadie and Stella were not as energetic this morning as yesterday. Maybe the two walks we took yesterday satisfied them enough, possibly wearing them out. There was nothing planned out of the ordinary today. With everything planted yesterday I only had a few things to do as far as adding some mulch.

Stella has developed two calluses on each hip bone from sitting then slowly rotating on them as she scratches. I have a couple of options I can try from my shelf. K9 Klear Up was sent to me by a friend for Heidi in 2015. His Mastiff had the exact same calluses that Stella has and this stuff worked.

I'm not sure if the Wounded Warrior Ointment I also bought for Heidi last year would be the right stuff for "elephant skin" calluses.

By the reactions of the hounds this morning there seemed to be a lot of deer scent. In this area it could be nothing else. It's been a long time since Sadie or Stella chased deer. I remember their latest chance, I saw the deer but they didn't ... around 5 of them running along this back edge of the field.

Stella was moving along pretty well today on her own. Not a lot of 'herding commands' were needed.

Neither hound wanted to leave this area ... I practically had to drag them away.

Every time we make the final turn toward home, Stella always hangs back for one reason or another. She will then usually trot slowly in our direction. Today she never stopped and trotted right past me like she had somewhere to go.

That was until a very strong scent completely took over her nose and her brain. She raised her nose high and stood there and tried to process everything her nose was telling her. She finally took about two steps in that direction when I yelled "no" ... it was already hot and I had been bitten by something on my back in a place I could not reach ... causing pure insanity.

As Stella and I went one direction, Sadie went the opposite direction. It is a place that she has been running to for the past few days. With her I don't say a word and continue walking because no matter how far I get ahead, she will always come running to catch me.

Is it just me or is this field growing by the hour???

When I mentioned that I wanted to get home and 'eat' breakfast ... that word 'eat' was just enough to get them headed in my direction. Anything food related makes them quite motivated to follow me.

Heidi came outside again Sunday afternoon but only because I didn't have the camera with me. She walked a little in the field but was snooping all the scents instead of walking with us. At least she has finally moved off the couch ... but ...

For the first time in 5 years, since the Yew's are gone, Heidi has decided to move her area for dumping her tanks from the front yard now to the backyard. She has not gone any further than the corner of the carport since the Yews were pulled out.

Isn't that funny ... or strange?

It started first thing in the morning but it got worse as the day progressed. My allergies were out of control today. No meds helped and the allergy attack would hit almost immediately as I stepped outside the door. With the temps in the 77° range by mid-day it was cool enough for the windows to be opened but wasn't for my allergies. Windows closed - AC on.

It felt much cooler than it was showing on my iPhone weather app, so we headed out for our afternoon walk by 4:30pm. That is about 3 hours earlier than the past week or two due to the hot temps. Heidi raised her head from the couch letting me know she had no intentions of leaving her stretched out position with a living room full of cold air. She has enjoyed her time on the couch this summer, continuing the basset hound traditions.

What I found was more mosquitoes than I had seen all summer. When I returned home and was applying Benadryl, I counted around 15 new bites. There is nothing I hate more than mosquito bites. I'll be looking for my prevention lotion before we walk again.

I let the hounds go on their own, even though they did walk to the first corner together. I keep looking at Stella and wondering if a change in dog food would help her. I am thinking of going back to Fromm dry food. I checked Chewy so I could try them for the first time, with their offer of free shipping and $25 off. They carry Fromm products but not the kind of dog food I have used in the past. I can buy it at T&T Feeds in Bloomington, getting a free 40# bag after I buy 10.

As I walked along the back edge of the field, I could see Stella making her slow walk to where she had gone for the first time the other day. I figured I'd stop on the way back to convince her it was time to come home.

She would stop and look at me when I yelled her name from afar, then kept walking. LOL

The picture is somewhat deceiving. She is a lot closer to me, than she is the highway.

There it is, the new spot of interest.

With Sadie walking next to me and deciding not to chase every butterfly that was in the area having lunch, I was able to get my first two pictures of butterflies this year. I have enough of them from last summer, that they have their own folder in my Flickr photo library. (1Tb of Free Storage)

It was okay temps wise but at this time the mosquitoes had bitten me enough to feel miserable and a little irritable. I was able to catch the hounds right behind me with the lens set at 18mm. They were sound to sleep again within minutes of walking inside the house .... another day is finished for them.

Every time I attempted to get closer, this butterfly would fly away. The 200mm zoom was the best I could do to catch it.

It was a quiet day with no yard labor involved. It will be another night of ice tea and baseball, with a little reading as the game is going on. Benadryl has cured my irritability with the mosquito bites, while I checked Google for some strategic plans in the war against mosquitoes.

Some late photos from tonight ...

It was a great day here in 'the tropics' of Southern Indiana.

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