Dog Days & Band-Aids

“The first week of August hangs at the very top of the summer, the top of the live-long year, like the highest seat of a Ferris wheel when it pauses in its turning.

“The weeks that come before are only a climb from balmy spring, and those that follow a drop to the chill of autumn, but the first week of August is motionless, and hot.

“It is curiously silent, too, with blank white dawns and glaring noons, and sunsets smeared with too much color.

“Often at night there is lightning, but it quivers all alone. There is no thunder, no relieving rain. These are strange and breathless days, the dog days, when people are led to do things they are sure to be sorry for after.”

~Natalie Babbitt, Tuck Everlasting~ 


It wasn’t quite August, but on Friday I took a mental health day and went for a bike ride. I’m usually never sorry for taking a spin on Kona, but perhaps this day I should have stayed home.

No, I didn’t fall and break a bone.

As I was riding along, I remember having the feeling of being bit around the area of my left shoulder blade. It was a stinging bite, but I assumed it was a mosquito that happened to cling to the human wind break that was moi. So, I shrugged it off and carried on for several more miles until it was time to go home.

I felt a bit itchy Friday night, so asked Natasha to check my back for mosquito bites.

From her mouth…“Oh my God!”

Turns out I must have been attacked by a spider and its legion or some other form of angry being with razor-sharp teeth. Fifteen times. My back looked like a war zone. By Saturday it felt like a war zone. I wanted to take a back scratcher to it and kill everyone. Kill everyone! Instead, I resisted and Natasha played field nurse with antibacterial, anti-itch ointment and a box of Band-Aids. An ice pack and Benadryl on Saturday night were also integral parts of the treatment plan. As I’m writing this post on Sunday afternoon, the itching is less than Saturday, but a few angry spots remain. The Benadryl, ointment and the last of a 60-count box of Band-Aids will reappear before bedtime in the hopes that Monday is itch-free.

The coming of August led me to take a day off and to go for a bike ride. I’m not sorry I did that. I’m only sorry that stupid, angry thing with teeth found me and decided that my blood tasted better than raw chicken or road kill.

Oh, and next time I’ll remember to bring along bug spray. I might be sorry about that omission.

Enjoy the dog days of summer, my northern hemisphere peeps, for August will be gone before we know it and autumn will make its grand, colorful entrance.

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22 responses to Dog Days & Band-Aids

  1. dweezer19 says:

    Bugs. Uggh..I truly empathize. They always find me. I can’t even walk in my yard in early morning dew without the chiggers climbing Mt Cheryl for a new home on my legs. 😡But it does not stop me from going our, bug spray and citronalla candle armed. PS I love Tuck Everlasting.

    • bikerchick57 says:

      My girlfriend’s daughter is like that…she gets bit like crazy if bug spray is not applied. I’ve been thinking of her every time my roommate applies ointment and band-aids. It appears she and Mt. Cheryl are tasty to the crawly and flying critters.

    • bikerchick57 says:

      Thanks Lois. Natasha has been reapplying ointment and band-aids twice a day, so she’s been able to tell if anything looks amiss. Right now, I have a few that still itch and look a little angry, but I think I have them on the run.

  2. Joanne Sisco says:

    Ouch!!! Lucky you had Nurse Natasha to help you. As I’m sitting here, I’m getting sympathy itches from my back. I might be scratching for a while in solidarity.
    It looks like a beautiful week ahead. Enjoy!

    • bikerchick57 says:

      Don’t scratch too hard, Joanne! It will make the sympathy itches worse!

      I will probably ride my bike to work on Tuesday, but stay on the paved trail, away from trees and bitey bugs. I thought I only had bad reactions from bees, but I guess spiders or whatever this was is just as bad. Luckily, I’m not so allergic that I had to take a trip to the ER. That would have been much worse.

      • Joanne Sisco says:

        It might help, but I found that Witch Hazel does wonders for relieving itching from bug bite.
        I do hyper-react to some bug bites, and Witch Hazel has been a blessing.

  3. Dan Antion says:

    I’ll echo the thoughts of others – be careful, and pay attention to any change in those attack sites. Thanks for including the photo of the train. I loved being stopped by trains.

    I’ve been bitten while riding, but usually it’s my legs that get attacked. I hate shoulder bites, cause you can’t see them. Good that you have a caring nurse.

    I hope this week starts with you feeling better and getting back on two wheels.

    • bikerchick57 says:

      We’re keeping an eye on those bites. I’m feeling okay this morning, a lot less itching except for a spot that must have been the first and main bite. I was a bit of a train wreck this weekend…the bug bites, trying to slice my finger off with the mandolin, and dealing with heel pain that might be plantar fasciitis.

  4. joey says:

    DANG! 😦
    That really is a bad memory to have hovered around all the beautiful scenery and wonderful fresh air and exercise.
    Seriously, the pictures are amazing, it must have been an incredible experience otherwise.

    • bikerchick57 says:

      I love biking through the trees and past the green water! I am lucky to have such a pretty trail close to home. The bug bites will end up a distant memory while the trail and biking lives forever.

  5. OOooooooo, that sounds really painful. I’m so glad that you had someone there who could sort that back problem out.

    Don’t go out biking unless you’ve got some sort of spray … or one of those costumes you see Forensics wearing – head to toe protection!!!
    Hope you’re fully on the mend and back to ‘normal’ asap! ~ Cobs. x

    • bikerchick57 says:

      I’m definitely on the mend, Cob. Down to two itchy spots and two Band-Aids. Not to worry, I’ll be taking spray with me from now on. Yes indeed! 😀

  6. Sharukh Bamboat says:

    Ouch! Sorry to read this so late. Well, mosquitoes and bugs can be a menace. In India, we are quite used to all of them, they are almost like uninvited guests, we don’t like them, but we can’t stop them, so we manage them. How? We have these electric tennis rackets so give them a shock treatment. I believe in India, almost everyone must be as good as Serena Williams and Roger Federer when it comes to playing shots on a bug.

  7. kirizar says:

    The pictures look lovely. (Good think you omitted one of your back, or it might dissuade anyone from trying that trail.)

    The train, by the way, did not appear to be speeding, either that, or you have excellent photography skills and stopped it in its tracks.

    • bikerchick57 says:

      Taking a photo of my back was out of the question. Just no. As for the train, it was clipping along…so I must have been lucky with the photo!

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