I had my first encounter with black flies today, while in the field. These little bastards are only a few millimeters in length, but their bites draw blood like nobody’s business, due to an anticoagulant they produce. The picture below is but only a mild bite that I sustained on my forehead.
Normally you don’t even know you’ve been bitten until you realize that your hand is bloody from touching your neck, ears, or forehead. The bite doesn’t hurt at all initially, but gets sore later in the day. I must have been bitten 10 times by these little devils.
Every time you stop moving, the swarm closes in. The ever-increasing sound the black flies make as their numbers surge around you is quite haunting. It’s as if you were only a foot away from a rotting, fetid corpse.
All in the name of science!