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A good ride spoiled by creepy crawlies

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Insects are my personal hell. I’m usually not one to complain about weather but I will blame the awful weather we’ve had for the reason insects have become vicious mutant savages this "summer."

I recently decided to go for a bike ride from Chief Peguis Bridge to St. John’s Park to enjoy a summer evening. I thought I had prepared myself for it with several layers of bug spray. But this was not enough. The creepy crawling bugs underneath the bridge were fine; it was the mosquitoes that were unbearable.

As I was enjoying the view of the river bank, a cloud of mosquitoes attacked. I swatted, slapped and even killed what I could, just to defend myself. But it was too much, so I hopped onto my bike and raced to Kildonan Park. I found an open bench to sit and watch the setting sun where I was attacked again, by caterpillars this time. They descended from the trees one by one like airborne soldiers.     

Frantically, I got my belongings together, trying to look normal to the family next to me as I jumped from the bench, flicking and peeling the caterpillars off as I got onto my bike. I thought if I kept moving, the combination of wind and movement would decrease my chance of being followed by any kind of critter. Wrong.

As soon as I left the park, I swallowed something that flew into my mouth. Then, while admiring the beautiful gardens on Scotia Street, I was stalked for a block by a wasp before it stung me. That was the end, I thought. I stubbornly continued to St. John’s Park.

Just outside the park ,on the boulevard by the river, I set up camp on the grass to watch a family of ducks waddle by. Unfazed by moths that sprung out of the grass, I watched the ducks for a few minutes before another swarm of mosquitoes hunted me down.

I officially gave up, packed my stuff and headed home as fast as possible.     

I really hope, for all of our sakes, that the  city’s fogging program works and that August is a warm and dry month, so we can finally enjoy the summer we rightfully deserve.  

Christina Hryniuk is a community correspondent for West Kildonan.

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