I am thinking – hoping, actually – that this sudden bit of cold weather we’ve had here in Ontario and Quebec will wreak some serious havoc with the blackfly population that might choose to call Queensborough home. Raymond and I are planning to be at the Manse this coming long weekend, and we could certainly do without blackflies in the mix. (Lord knows we have enough on our hands on the flying-pest front with the wasp situation.)
There were no blackflies around on our last visit, a couple of weeks ago, but our neighbour Sylvia – who was out doing yardwork, as was I – told me they’d arrive in a week or so, making outdoor work a lot less fun.
The funny thing is that I have no recollection of there being a lot of blackflies in Queensborough when I was growing up at the Manse in the 1960s and ’70s. I mean, they certainly were around at this time of year, but I don’t recall them being in such numbers as to cause the misery that only swarming blackflies can cause. My father would talk about how bad they were when he was working (on his “days off” from being the United Church minister in Queensborough) up at the Sedgwicks’ ancestral farm in Haliburton County; but Halburton is a fair bit further north, and we all know about the blackflies of Northern Ontario. But blackflies just didn’t seem to be a thing, particularly, in central Hastings County back then.
Am I wrong? Is my memory playing tricks on me? Raymond and I certainly didn’t experience blackflies last spring at the Manse, but perhaps we just weren’t visiting at the right – or I guess actually that would be the wrong – time. People in the area kind of roll their eyes and laugh at me when I express surprise about there being serious blackflies. Perhaps global warming – or something – has changed the situation since the long-ago days of my childhood.
Anyway, of more immediate interest this very chilly May evening: is the Victoria Day long weekend in Queensborough likely to include a big dose of blackflies?