Me vs. the Gnats

I’m a big hiker. My goal is to visit all the state parks in Wisconsin, and I have a pretty good start. I love to venture into the woods and hear the birds and see the flora. But there is one thing I do not like about hiking in the woods. It’s the bugs.

This past week, I went hiking with my niece at Blue Mounds State Park. One of the first things we did when we got there was climb the east observation tower. It is such an extraordinary view, and the breeze was lovely on what turned out to be a pretty humid day. While enjoying the view and the breeze, I noticed these black gnats starting to gang up on us. Gang up on ME, I should say.  They were so small they looked like little black dots flying around, but they did some major damage. They became so thick we had to climb down the tower just to get away from them. 

Well, during our hike my niece looked over at me and said, “Ummm….you have blood dripping down your neck.”  I reached up and touched my neck and when I pulled my hand away it was covered as if someone had sliced me open. Not only was I dripping blood from my neck but I noticed I had several large welts all over the back of my neck. The GNATS!  Ugh. 

I discovered that black gnats, when they bite you, inject an anti-coagulant so they can more easily get a meal. Hence the horror-movie scene in the middle of the woods. Who would have thought that a tiny speck of a bug could cause such damage? Let this be a lesson to you. Bug repellent. Have it handy every time you go into the woods. I know I will from now on. . . .