May 08 2007


Maybe it’s my shampoo. I’m a guy, and all I ask of my hair is that it stay clean and in the vicinity of my head, so when I buy shampoo, I get the biggest bottle of whatever they sell at the dollar store. This “White Rain” stuff I’m using now doesn’t even claim to have a fragrance.

But for the last few days now, whenever I take Pepper for a walk and we get to a park or grassy area, I get absolutely swarmed by these little flies of some sort. They’re smaller than houseflies but bigger than gnats, so I don’t know if they’re fruit flies or something else. They don’t bite, but they swarm around my head and land in my hair and make it completely impossible to just hang out at the park for a while. I have to keep moving at a fast walk to generate enough breeze to keep them off me, or I end up standing there swatting at my head like a crazy person.

I took a picture of them, but my camera isn’t very sharp at close range. (As usual, click on the pics to popup a full-sized version.) That was at the park, with about 50 of them swirling around my head. It’s just my head, not the rest of my body, which is why I suspect my shampoo. I still see other people sitting in the park, so I don’t think they’re bothering everyone else like this. I’m going to put on some Off later and go down to the store for some different shampoo.

A couple other recent pictures; here’s one of the devil dog in one of her favorite sleeping positions in her chair:

Other cameras cause red-eye; apparently mine causes green-eye. Not sure what’s going on there. Here’s one I took the other day, after she chased a rabbit under this corn header. She couldn’t get under there, so she just ran around and around it dozens of times, hoping to scare it out. I finally had to tell her to give up so we could head home. (Turns out my camera isn’t fast enough for “action” pictures either.)

These three puppies came out to play on the south side of town one morning. I have no idea what they’re looking at in this picture, because Pepper was standing at my feet. Maybe they’re camera-shy.

I got a kick out of this: two lawns, side by side. Want to bet these neighbors don’t especially get along?

Every time we go for a walk, I’m reminded of how much I don’t miss mowing my lawn. That’s the main noise you hear in town this time of year: mowers running everywhere. I even hear them regularly here in the middle of town, for some reason.
I swear I will never mow my lawn again, no matter where I live. I won’t have a lawn unless I can afford to pay someone to mow it, or build a robot mower. (In fact, the coolness of a robot mower might be the only reason I’d have a lawn.) Otherwise, I’ll turn the whole thing into a European-style garden with paths and plants, have sheep to graze it, put down artificial turf, or just pave the whole thing. Never again will I look out at my lawn and think, “Oh man, I have to mow today.”

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