Wednesday, July 19 2006
The heat has been vicious now for a few days. I mostly spend my time down in the garage working on the endless drywalling project. It's reasonably cool there, though individual mosquitos trickle in at a constant rate to torment me, often making off with crimson abdomens full of blood before I can seek any justice against them. Another odd element of fauna in the garage is toads. I run into them fairly regularly, hopping off when I move something that has been in the same place for the past three years. The floor of the garage is concrete and there's no source of moisture inside, but they all look healthy and I've never seen one that got lost, died, and mummified. Evidently they know how to get in and out again through the one garage door (of two) that we leave open throughout the warm season. There's also at least one Carpenter Bee that depends on the garage door being open so she can get from the outdoor habitat to her nest, a hole in the garage's central ceiling girder (which holds up the floor joists of my laboratory, overhead).
Gretchen and I went to Catskill Mountain Coffee today to pick up three pounds of Zanazibar I'd ordered. Then we went hiking at nearby Onteora Lake. But we'd forgotten our insect repellant and the mosquitos were so bad on the trail the we had to abandon the hike. We ended up in the tea-colored lake itself, where Gretchen swam some distance. For my part, I kept to within a 20 feet of the shoreline, beyond which the depth was over my head. I can't really swim and will only do so if the destination is specific and nearby, though Onteora offers few such destinations. My main purpose for being in the water was so as to present the minimum of my skin's surface area to mosquitos. Doing this meant I was presenting a maximum of my skin's surface area to leaches. Pleasantly, there were none today.
Back at the coffee shop, we ate sandwiches and such out in the patio area while the employees took a cigarette break nearby and fussed over our dogs. Interestingly, Catskill Mountain Coffee employees tend to be largish punk rock girls.
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