They were beautiful and I was dying to take a walk into the hills to explore, but I wasn't actually willing to die in order to do so. And I seriously thought I might.
Not because I'm afraid of running into one of these.
Alice assures me that they are extinct. Her kindergarten teacher told her so, therefore it must be true. If you can't trust your teacher, who can you trust really? (Certainly not your mother. I make things up on a whim if it sounds good.)
Anyway, we did see this guy in the interpretive centre there. Take a look at him -- he's huge, but there are these little annoying guys all around.
Even the face is not sacred. They can get you anywhere.
I just what you to know, I feel your pain, Big Guy. Those little guys can bring you down. They can bite you in the face. They can cause legs to swell to unreasonable size. They can cause you to itch and scratch and smother your children with DEET, regardless of the warnings. They can force you indoors, looking longingly out at the hills. They can shorten your camping trip.
After a night last week in which they received more rain in three hours than they receive in an average year, causing flash floods in the campground, the mosquitos were now hatching mere feet from our tent. By the thousands.
Do you remember Joe Btfsplk? With the cloud about his head at all times, waiting for trouble to strike? That was me. Except they were surrounding my whole body like a visible cloud as soon as I ventured onto a promising, beautiful path. Here's a visual representation of what it looked like. I couldn't take a picture because all five of my hands were busy slapping at the mosquitoes.
They weren't big, but they were actually visible in my shadow because of the sheer numbers of them. I wasn't sure I'd make it back the 50 feet to the campsite, and when I got there I actually ran around the table a few times to try to lose the pack. I think they just diversified and spread themselves among the rest of my family. That wasn't very nice of me, but it's every man for himself in situations like that.
Once again, never trust your mother. That's just a word of advice to my own children, not a generalization. I trust my own mother. She's very trustworthy, but not me.
If you would like to experience this lovely itchy scratchy slapworthy adventure, you too should travel to Dinosaur Park soon. It's a unforgettable experience. The mozzies will live on in my memory for quite some time, and for a shorter time visual evidence will remain all over my body.