Outdoor Running Adventures

Running in northern BC with my dog Kobi


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Bugs and Bears

rainbow

A rainbow in my yard!! But sadly, no pot of gold.

Bugs and Bears is my name for the season affectionately known as summer.  This season is all about biting blood-sucking insects and large blood-letting predators.

First, there are the mosquitoes that drive you mad with their incessant buzzing and biting.  When it’s too hot for them outside, their friends the horse-flies take over.

Did you know that a horse-fly can fly up to +40km an hour?  Maybe that’s why they’re called “horse” flies.  This means you can’t escape them when on a bike and you definitely can’t outrun them.  They flock together and fly around your head while you’re running.  It’s awesome.  What’s even more awesome is when they sink their fly teeth in.  According to Wikipedia, they have “knife-like mandibles to rip and/or slice flesh apart”.  How lovely.

Then there are the black flies (about 1/8 the size of a horse fly).  They leave a nasty bloody bite mark that itches terribly and usually gets infected.  And we can’t forget the no-see-ums (teeny tiny wee little biting flies).  I swear if you looked at these under a microscope they would be all fangs.  Their bite really hurts and they also leave bloody bite marks.

no-see-um drawing

No-see-um. This is what I think they look like.

Oh, and then there are the “pinchers”.  If there is one insect that instills the deepest fear in me, it is the dreaded pincher (aka the longhorn wood-boring beetle).  When I see them flying, I start waving my arms and jumping around frantically all while screaming.  I think this attracts them.  They also have hooks on their feet so once they land on you, they hold on.  They also bite when they feel threatened (they eat wood so they have strong jaws and my screaming makes them feel threatened).

longhorn beetle

I’m shuddering just writing this caption. Photo credit Wikimedia

Then of course there are the large predators – bears.  It’s cool when you see them hanging out on the side of the road when you’re driving by (in a car), not so cool when you’re on a bike or out running.  You really only have to worry about the sows defending their cubs, the predatory ones (yes, they do hunt people up here), or the ones you surprise.  That pretty much covers most of the bear situations you’re going to encounter while out running.

On a positive note, I get a great running tan (if there is such a thing) and everything is so green and lush.  Such a lovely time of year.

What’s your favorite blood sucking insect?  Does your dog get terrorized by biting bugs?  What’s your favorite running season?  Does your dog like eating grass?

white dog eating grass

Kobi eating her greens

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