Tuesday, July 8, 2008


How long can someone survive with only 3.25 ounces of blood left in her body? That might be a high-end estimate. I think I might have less.

After I put my dinner in the oven, there was some thunder rumbling in the distance, and those of you who have a dog know that as soon as the weather threatens to get bad, the damn dog announces frantically that he must pee. This means you have to put on whatever protective gear you can find to deal not only with the inclement weather, but find the cloth leash (because chains in a lightning storm are unwise), put on shoes that easily slide on and off to protect you from standing on escaping worms, yet will protect your feet from the rain and puddles, and throwing on that rubber parka, even though it's 80º outside, to keep your pajama top and work slacks (because you've only had time to half-change clothes since arriving home) from getting drenched in the downpour. You take the dog out, and though it's not raining quite yet, it will be in a moment, which the dog doesn't understand. He decides this is a grand time to run full-force down the street and go for a high-speed, high-impact run around the subdivision, which almost dislocates your shoulder before you get him back under control. Well, somewhat. Finally he pees, and while his bladder unloads an unbelievably large load of liquid, you notice the lightning is quite dramatic and tell the damn dog to hurry the hell up, perhaps curse him a little bit for saving up his pee all day for this storm.

Yeah, well, all that is quite annoying, but for some reason, despite the danger I thought I was in while the dog was peeing, I actually went inside and grabbed my camera so I could return to the imminent storm and take lightning shots before the deluge began. Uh-huh. With a big metal tripod. And a mostly metal camera. In the middle of a field. With lightning. And I call the dog stupid.

My pictures weren't all that great because there were far too many clouds hiding the lightning, but three of the pics showed little fizzles of lightning. Okay, maybe you'll have to click to embiggen them to see the lightning, but it's there -- I swear!

All artists sacrifice a little of themselves for their art, right?

For me, it was my blood.

At 10 p.m., with an impending storm, every single mosquito in the Tri-State area heard the news that there was a juicy human standing outside taking pictures, and the swarm commenced. They were all over me in a way that I've never experienced before. They were in my ears, on my lips, up my shirt sleeves, between my toes, and in other unmentionable areas that had me wiggling like Jell-o. I even had an Æon Flux moment where I trapped one between my eyelashes, Venus-flytrap-style. It's very hard to hold still for 5- and 10-second shutter speeds when bugs are in your hair, up your nose, and under your arms, biting and sucking your blood. Somehow I managed to take 175 pictures, though. Do the math. I was out there for quite a while, bleeding to death into small siphons of thousands of insects looking to use my life to further their own species. Fuckers! And all I had to show for it was these three photos with tiny little fizzles of lightning.

Even the dog thought I was nuts. When I went back inside, pale and near death, he looked at me as if to say, "You know, if we'd been on that sprint around the subdivision, they never would've caught up to you. Now you're going to bleed to death out of a million microscopic holes and who's going to give me cookies everyday? Oh, wait, yeah, I'm cute so everyone will, but you'll still be dead. Stupid human."

That's me.


Amanda (the librarian) said...

Oh, great pictures though!

Does your camera have some sort of fireworks setting? Seems it would have worked for this - I'll have to try with mine sometime.

I hear ya on the mosquitoes. This time of year, even though we have had no rain in a few weeks, every one of them finds me. Thank goodness for lemon eucalyptus oil and Skin-So-Soft.

Leelu said...

Ugh. I cannot imagine how badly you must itch right now.

On the plus side, the pictures are gorgeous. Dark, menacing, and looking like nature's about to say (in a Droopy Dog voice, of course), "I don't like you."

Eerie thing. Droopy Dog and Emperor Palpatine sound almost exactly alike. I'm not sure if that makes a cartoon dog more menacing, or the biggest evil ever to walk around the Star Wars canon more ridiculous. You make the call.

Romana1 said...

OMG. I just got back from Minnesota Monday night-I just missed those storms coming home to Ohio.

That was so me Sunday night! The was a terrific lightning storm just south of my sister's place, and I stood outside trying to take pictures of the cloud to cloud lightning-I was swarmed by mosquitos too-i'm still itching! The buzzing in your ears is so nerve-racking!

I, unfortunately, wasn't as successful as you with my picture taking-your shots are awesome!!

Gardenbuzzy said...

Try some stuff called Calagel on your mosquito bites. I had some really vicious ones from picking blueberries in the back yard and got some of this stuff and it's great! Guess I taste better than my husband because he hardly ever gets bitten but they are on me like a duck on a June bug the minute I step out of the house.

Bobby said...

the pics turned out good.

If you ever want to be outside with mosquitos, and not get bitten, invite me over, I am a mosquito magnet.

BeckEye said...

Those pics are awesome!

Sorry to hear you were devoured though. Mosquitos have always loved me too, so I sort of know how you feel. Just not to the degree that you described, thankfully.

Rachel said...

Bleh, that must really suck! I hope you feel better soon :(
I really like your pictures!
If it helps, this picture is really cute!

Anonymous said...

Ha ha, Rachel! Was that pun intended?

Rachel said...

always ^.^ my family is very punny!

Magnoire La CHouette said...

Great pics!!
I'm behind in reading your blog!
Skeeters don't bother me which is good thing seeing as we have the West Nile Virus and all...
You must be sweeter than me.