Sunday, July 1, 2012

Greenhead fly season

The greenhead flies are biting again on the mudflats, as they will in July. The female Tabanus nigrovittatus saws away at your flesh in order to lap up some blood, so she may be fit to lay another set of eggs.

I clam anyway. I clam because I enjoy it. I'm pretty good at it, too, and it puts food on my table.

The greenhead flies will always be bothersome, but they do what they do because they must, without a thought to my clamming.
Photo by Tom Murray, under modified CC license. at BugGuide.Net

I don't give much thought to them, either, except when they're ripping at my flesh. If I swat one hard enough, she might be stunned long enough to leave me alone for a moment, and I go back to clamming.

We need to start recognizing that the Arnes and Elis and Bill slashing away at our flesh will always be among us, looking to extract from us--nothing personal, of course.

I can quit teaching in a thoughtful, ethical, important way, and the flies go away. Or I can swat now and again and keep working for the common good.

I'm not letting a few greenheads wreck either my clamming or my teaching.


Kathryn J said...

I have a few nasty ankle bites from those wee beasties myself. I spent the last week camping on Cape Cod. Remarkably the winter storms were kind enough to wash up sandbars about 100 yards wide along the length of the coast - they are visible about 1.5 hours on either side of low tide and are wonderful. Tidal pools abound full of creatures and kids.

I have more tolerance at the beach then in my classroom. It's been two years now of watching kids get their school pulled out from beneath them. I attended the 104th and final graduation for the school I was at in 2010-2011 - my Chem students graduated this year.

Next year I am at a phase-in school. Perhaps the 4th year of teaching will be a charm and I will stay at a school for more than one year. Next year, my school will grow to 9th through 11th grade - Arne and his cronies can hardly close us down for graduation rate... yet.

doyle said...

Dear Kathryn,

It's sad to see what you're going through, but we need more like you.

Arne is annoying, even dangerous, but keep the good fight in focus.

We matter more than he does.