Saturday, August 09, 2008

then in a wailful choir the small gnats mourn

Where are the songs of Spring? Ay, where are they?
Think not of them, thou hast thy music too,—
While barred clouds bloom the soft-dying day,
And touch the stubble plains with rosy hue;
Then in a wailful choir the small gnats mourn
Among the river sallows, borne aloft
Or sinking as the light wind lives or dies;
And full-grown lambs loud bleat from hilly bourn;
Hedge-crickets sing; and now with treble soft
The red-breast whistles from a garden-croft;
And gathering swallows twitter in the skies.

-- John Keats, "To Autumn"

As gentle Shepheard in sweete euen-tide,
When ruddy Phoebus gins to welke in west,
High on an hill, his flocke to vewen wide,
Markes which do byte their hasty supper best;
A cloud of combrous gnattes do him molest,
All striuing to infixe their feeble stings,
That from their noyance he no where can rest,
But with his clownish hands their tender wings
He brusheth oft, and oft doth mar their murmurings.

--Edmund Spencer, The Fairie Queen

I hate gnats! Summer + potted plant + fruit accidentally left out = gnat infestation problem. The thought that they might have laid eggs somewhere creeps the heck out of me, filling me with heebie jeebies. They are harmless, yes, but they are annoying, yes also. I do not have the poetic, "song of Fall" perspective that Keats does--I hate these damned things that fly about my small apartment, circling my head and alighting on the edge of my enameled colander. Ew. I am much more inclined to agree with Spencer, and can find no rest from their annoyance and with my clownish hands try to brush them off, until I really do look batshit insane as I paw at the air.

I googled "how to get rid of gnats," and found this homemade solution. And guess what, it really works! Now I have two jars each of vinegar + Dawn, and vinegar + baking soda, and gross gross gross, a couple dozen dead gnats floating (baking soda) or sunk to the bottom (Dawn). Ewwww.


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