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Spring in Vermont

Spring in Vermont brings, after a May snow squall or two, lovely warm weather, flowers, lilac breezes, fiddleheads, wild ramps and the promise of a short, hot summer. The other thing that comes in the spring is the dreaded black fly.

Three interesting facts about black flies: 1) only females bite 2) they don’t bite after dark (unlike mosquitoes) 3) they only breed in clean, running water which means that if there are black flies, at least there are babbling brooks too.

The black fly is bigger than a skeeter but smaller than a housefly and it’s bite is ferocious and it swells, seeps and ITCHES for days. I have been bitten near my eye and it looked like I’d been in the boxing ring with Muhammad Ali. These awful pests are pretty much gone by July 4th which gives us even more reason to celebrate America’s Birthday!

In the hamlet of Adamant, in the town of Calais, they decided 16 years ago to celebrate the black fly.  So began the Black Fly Festival, with a parade where everyone dresses up as black flies, a black fly pie contest, live music, all kinds of delicious grilled foods, etc. And guess what? The black fly bites you might get are free, woo hoo! If you can’t beat ‘em, party with ‘em!

The Black Fly Festival is tons of fun and not an event to miss. This year it will take place on Saturday, June 2 with grilling and music starting around 11 am. The "black and blood" themed pie contest starts at 1 pm and the Black Fly Parade and Fashion Show at 2 pm. There will also be a writer’s slam hosted by famed local poet Geof Hewitt, as well as a silent auction.

I still hate black fly bites but this festival makes them a teeny bit more tolerable. At least that’s what I tell myself! 

Sue Aldrich


Coldwell Banker Classic Properties

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