We went for a hike up Debar Mountain the other day (MAy 21). Sarah and I were both in kind of a bad mood to begin with and the unanticipated swarms of mosquitos, black flies, and biting midges only made things worse. We hiked up in sullen, swatting silence. The view at the top was great! That’s Meacham Lake on the left and Clear Pond on the right. (I forgot the memory card for my camera, so this photo was taken with Sarah’s old iPhone.) We only hung around long enough to devour our sandwich halves before fleeing the clouds of insects that surrounded us even on the exposed and windy peak.
One good thing came out of it. I came up with a good impromptu bug mask. I took a t-shirt (synthetic, though cotton would probably also work), and pulled it over my head and down to my neck with the sleeves resting on my shoulders. Then I pulled the back of the neck up over my head (a la Cornholio) and down to my eyebrows. I pulled the front of the neck up over my mouth and nose creating a thin slit for my eyes but otherwise covering my entire head and neck. To seal the deal I tied the sleeves behind my head, stuck my ratty hat on top, and covered the slit with my drugstore aviators. The slit was wide enough that the earpieces fit inside the hole. It looked a little Invisible-Man-ish, but provided an (almost) impenetrable fortress from the bloodthirsty insect hordes: