Everywhere. Absolutely everywhere. But mostly, right where I am putting my house on the edge of the forest. Mosquitos have never been particularly fond of me but unless I have a decoy i.e. a friend that doesn't run quickly enough, I will suffice. I went to the property this week to clean up the already existing but ragged and sometimes confusing path and arrived about 2 hours before the storm did. I expected them to be worse than they were with all of the rain we have gotten but surprisingly they weren't that bad. I suppose it was because it was already a bit blustery and I was freshly covered in a layer of citronella but then the weather started to change and by the time I got down to the lake the lightening was right above me. When I turned around to assess how badly I was about to be soaked, I was greeted by this
Which made a bit nervous but I stuck with the program.... within 5 minutes it looked more like this
This is where I learned something about Spirit Moose, it's so dense and thickly treed that when you are in those trees you can't see what's going on outside of them so I put down my tools and headed up to the road to look around.
Daunting, but I've seen worse so I kept at it and headed back down to the bog. Within 10 minutes it started to pour, badly. There was another lesson in this and that is if you think it's going to rain and you don't want to get soaked, don't go down to the bog because it takes 5 minutes to get back up to the road where the car is. By the time I did make it back up I was drenched. Totally drenched. So I mopped off a bit with a napkin from my lunch kit and turned on the air. I get really good reception on my phone so I decided to go over the first plan that my architect had sent the day before.
It wasn't what I was expecting but I liked it. Most of it. I loved the floor plan, loved the size of it (it's about 450 sf), love the green roof that will capture some rain and send it into the filters and then water tanks and I really love the panels that will deflect the snow but still allow light to get to whatever I plant up there but I didn't like the vestibule much. I worry about unused space in such a small house and although I like how it adds to the look of the house from the outside... I wasn't fond of it and felt the floor plan needed to be tweaked a bit to reflect how I expected to live there so I made some scribbles on the plan and sent it back to Montreal where my architect friend is visiting his family.
I plan to have a garden east of the path where a lot of sun gets through the trees so it made sense (at the time - more on that in my next post) to move the living area to that side and the bedroom to the other, as well as swapping the kitchen and bath east and west and moving it north so I could get rid of the wall between the entrances and open the area up a bit. I like the idea of a vestibule to save heat etc in colder months but I really don't like walls much.
Once I dried off a bit, ate and delivered my email it had stopped raining so I headed back out to the bog to finish clearing, the frogs were out and singing a bit... it was really nice and smelled so insanely fresh. I took a deep breath and... that's when they descended on me. Hundreds of them, oh god, it was awful. I threw my head to toe rain poncho on and tried to work faster but the harder I worked, the harder my breath became and well... you know how that goes. I was slapping and jumping and swearing up and down the path trying to find a place that was less heavily populated but to no avail. I finished earlier than I wanted to and the wetland area could still use thinning but there is also a nest with a nervous mother bird that goes into the "SAVE THE BABIES/OH DEAR GOD, I HAVE A BROKEN WING, LOOK AT HOW VULNERABLE I AM!!!" panic mode when I get too close so I figure that can wait for a couple more weeks.
In the end the path looks really good and you can make it all of the way to the beginning of the wetland without getting poked in the eye or stabbed in the head by wayward branches. I made it through almost 500 ft and felt so very pleased with myself, itchy and exhausted. Pauline says she's going to find me some bat houses to put in the trees around the house which I think I will put up on a hot and sunny day for obvious reasons.
Here is the path through the Horsetail and to the opening of the birch forest - it's become one of my favourite places at Spirit Moose and it's about the only photo I took of the finished path that isn't a blur from mosquito slapping and jumping. I'll take more the next time I'm there.