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The season of the sand gnat
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Just as the first warm breezes of spring roll down upon us and the sweaters and hooded jackets retreat back to their lofty homes at the top of the closet, as if by the gearwork of some great forsaken chronograph, the black scourge has descended upon us.

Yes, my fellow Richmond Hillians, the dreaded gnats have made their grand arrival. While in truth the aforementioned winged hellions rise from lakes, ponds, and streams (generally those heavy with plant life), the average victim would most likely guess their origin to be a much hotter, Abbadon-like place.

Methods for warding off said insects range from homemade vinegar/dish soap traps and simple dryer sheets to complex and costly electric arrays. Then there are those most-seasoned southerners who heed the tenacious biters little more than an infrequent aimed exhalation, which is countered by the mostly northern method of frenzied rave-dance-like slapping. Deet-laden bug spray is also a common weapon of choice.

I was, just the other day, helping a friend with some leaves, at that magical feasting hour of five o’ clock, when the swarm attacked. As a veteran of many such attacks I at first tried to will away the irritants, but upon examining my arms and legs and having to second guess my ethnicity, I realized that chemical warfare would need to be employed – next time.

However in this itchy, nettlesome war of attrition the meager defenses of man, be they newfangled or ancient, never seem to be enough. The enemy is numerous and steadfast to their cause – devouring our very essence. Let the bell toll from the highest tower, the season of the sand gnat has arrived. The faint of heart may be inclined to retreat indoors for the summer as for the coming months the outdoors will once again be a war zone. For those that live and thrive here know that it is our inescapable destiny to clash with this most archaic of mankind’s foes, and the war buzzes on annoyingly.


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