Firstly, this blog comes with a warning. There is some detail that may induce nausea with those of a delicate disposition.
The bad news is that the flies have finally got under our skin. Not literally, thank goodness, but close as they are crawling into our ears, and they love squeezing their bodies into the corners of our eyes, nice and snug, so that legs get left behind when you wipe them out. A fly rapidly making its way into your ear is alarming enough but when several of them attempt to do so simultaneously it becomes quite distressing. Worse still the amplified crunch that results when your finger finally denies them further access. All of us have also experienced the doubled over coughing and spitting fit that brings tears to the eyes as we try to dislodge a tracheal intruder.
Any cuts will be swarmed with voracious flies within seconds of exposure to the open air leading one to wear new fashion accessories that we have christened “fly rings”. Poor Amanda, at times, felt like her skin was crawling.
We all have fly nets, though mine (an SA model) appears to only filter out the big blowflies and not the recent wave of smaller bushflies that have arrived in their swarms.
It started just after the cyclone just prior to Easter. At the Pinnacles we were initiated into the outback fly plague. At Sandy Cape they got a little more persistent. From then on they have been consistently bad, the locals even conceding that this is the worst and most prolonged that they can remember.
I’m jumping ahead of my blogs but at Cape Peron it became unbearable with Fifty Toes constantly running back to the car where we could control their numbers. Uncomfortable yes, but one evening camped on the beach at Waroora Station, a few days later, we didn’t bother with the awning. The weather was beautiful and yes, there were plenty of flies, but by now we are used to having at least a dozen flies crawling over our faces at any one time, crawling across your lips, in the eyes and seeking entry into ears, whilst having a conversation with someone. We have all perfected our own personalised versions of the “Australian Wave” but as soon as the dinner was served into bowls, wave after wave of kamikaze bushflies plummeted into the sauce. For each one that was scraped out with a knife or finger, three more had sacrificed themselves. We tried in vain to eat from our bowls under our fly nets. I gave up, figuring that the additional protein would add an interesting crunchy texture. When the crunchiness became the dominant texture, revulsion got the better of us all and in unison we dashed for the car again, cranked up the aircon and ate dinner in the car.
As we sit out Cyclone Quang, we are optimistic that the winds will have sorted the flies out. In recent days we have laughed at people wearing fly nets because we no longer need to wear them. Words can only begin to describe what it has been like but to conclude on a positive note if you ever see me chuckling to myself I am probably remembering the sight of the ladies in bikinis sunbaking on Kalbarri beach with fly nets on their heads, or the canine in Carnarvon walking around wearing one.