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The Heart of New England
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Five Things to Do During Black Fly Season  
By Susan Nye

You expect to find lists of activities and boredom busters for rainy days.
Fortunately, except for that time with the ark, rain doesn’t stick around for forty
days and nights. Unfortunately, that’s just what the
black flies do. They arrive in
time for Mothers’ Day and disappear around Fathers’ Day. Forty days with a
few extra for good measure.

After all those April showers, we’re past due for some May flowers and
sunshine. If you’re like me you’d like nothing better than to head outside. As
bad luck would have it, before you can start the lawnmower or settle into the
hammock, a swarm of flies are buzzing around your head and nipping  at your

So what can you do about it? Well, you could …  

1.        Pout,
2.        Stamp your foot,
3.        Complain,
4.        Mope,
5.        Flee the State.

As tempting as it sounds, forty days of sulking could get old pretty fast and a
long trip may not be in your budget. Before you sink into the doldrums or book
a flight you can’t afford, here are a few ideas to help you stay sane if not happy
during black fly season:   

1.        Go to the movies.

Get your best pals together and make an afternoon of it. Add lunch before or an
early dinner or drinks afterwards. Think of it as a field trip without the field.
Alternatively, you could host a movie party at home. Most of this year’s Oscar
winners are out on DVD so you can catch any you missed while hibernating
during the long winter.  

2.        Bake cupcakes.

It’s hard to be unhappy when you’re making cupcakes, particularly the
decorating part. Top your little gems with creamy icing tinted in a variety of
sweet pastel colors. They’ll be a huge hit when you …

3.        Host a game marathon.

Whether it’s Scrabble, Mah Jongg or, enjoy a rousing
competition. If it’s warm and sunny, hold the party in the screened-in porch.
That’s assuming you have one. If you don’t have a screened-in porch, think
about adding one.

4.       Read.

If you aren’t feeling social, grab the latest book by your favorite author and
relax in that same screened-in porch. Ignore the weeds that are sprouting in the
garden and the grass which is almost a foot high. Fathers’ Day will be here in
a few weeks.

5.        Break out your "to do" list.

If you are really desperate, do all the stuff you postponed for the past three or
four months. This one doesn’t exactly quality as fun. Let’s face it, if any of the
stuff on your To-Do list was fun, you’d have done it already. However,
checking items off your list will give you a wonderful sense of accomplishment.

Clean the closets, basement or garage. Sort out your computer files, delete what
you don’t need and backup what you do. Organize five generations of family
photos and make scrapbooks for everyone. Stain the trim on the screened-in
porch. The list is endless and now is as good a time as any to make a dent in it.

Better yet, come to my house. I’d be happy to have you do any of the above for
me. I promise to reward you with a nice dinner or at least a cupcake when
you’re done.

Susan Nye writes, cooks and lives in New London. Visit her web site at Susan Nye  to
learn about her Eat Well – Do Good project. For cooking tips and more, you can follow
Susan on
Twitter at  or watch her cook on YouTube.