AH - nothing says "summer's coming" like your first blackfly bite.
Yes, folks, it's that time of year already. And yes, it is early! Blackfly season traditionally runs Memorial Day through the 4th of July (or so "they" say), but the little buggers started biting here last week (I have the bloody marks to prove it). And while this is the earliest I remember them being active, I can't say that I've found the Memorial Day-4th July adage to hold much water.
So what is an outdoor enthusiast to do?
Well, you get yourself a bug shirt. Here we have Mary modeling the latest in antibug-wear: the tan version of the Original Bug Shirt. Featuring a screened face panel, elasticized wrists and a drawstring waist, this shirt is guaranteed to baffle even the most determined blackflies (works well on mosquitoes, too). Note that she even has the matching antibug pants (no screens, but the ankles are elasticized to prevent sneak attacks from below).
Be warned: the mosquitoes are also out and taking their share of our blood. The only ones that haven't shown up yet are the deer flies and the no-see-ums. The latter are the worst, in my humble opinion, for they are naught but jaws with wings, and each bite feels like a hot needle being inserted into your flesh. You can do things to avoid all the others, but the no-see-ums are so small (hence the name) that there isn't much you can do, unless you wish to bathe in assorted repellents. Generally, this option isn't my cup of tea, but there have been times when I've reached for the natural stuff and dosed all exposed skin liberally. The relief is usually short-lived.
This summer we are all going to miss the bats!