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Watch the wind.  The wind is always your enemy.

When the wind comes out of the swamp it brings with it mosquitoes, sometimes swarms if there has been a recent rain.  If there has been a dry spell for some time before the recent rain, then the mosquitoes glide with the wind in clouds, their eggs having lain dormant in the dry muck waiting for the rain to trigger the miracle of birth and hatching.  A cloud of mosquitoes is an unnatural anguish in which to work.  They bite your neck and ears and between your hair follicles on your scalp.  They bite your ankles even through socks.  They bite any part of your body that your clothes temporarily stretch tight against as you bend or turn in your labors.  They bite the same place twice and again and again and the more you slap them the more come attracted by the scent of your own blood now splattered on the outside of your clothes and skin as the feeding mosquitoes explode under the slap of your palm.  They come and come and bite and bite and you find yourself working with one hand so that the other can continuously swat at the onslaught of tiny vampires.  But that free hand waving and swatting does no good.  Only covering yourself in an awkward mosquito mesh, head to toe helps, and that only somewhat.  The wind from the swamp brings blood lust.

It can also blow in predatory birds.  They will stay as long as you allow them.  You cannot generally kill them by law so you must scare them away.  They do not scare easily.  You are up against intelligent beings.  They have been known to perch just beyond sling shot range if you use a sling shot.  If you in frustration use an air rifle or bb gun, they will take the range of your weapon, perhaps one of them will sacrifice itself in the measuring, and then perch just beyond.  They will wait for you to give up scaring them and then descend on your fish.  This will continue until you have proven to them that you will not quit.  This sometimes takes more than a week.  Wild things are patient by nature.

A wind from the ocean is wild.  It blows in like waves, hard and thrashing, then soft, almost ebbing back the opposite direction, before blowing in again doubly hard.  It will knock things down.  It will break tree limbs.  It will tear coverings from buildings.  It will rip the plastic skin from the hoop house.  The ocean wind knows no mercy.

A wind from the north is a hard and steady blow.  It wears the farm down.  Forget wearing hats.  You will sacrifice all head gear to the north wind.  You will find yourself walking into it with a lean as if it were capable of holding you upright or pushing you down like a bully.  The north wind is a strong force, a foreign mystery, as if angry from events that happened up in the cold reaches of the melting pole.

There is almost never a wind from the south.  When it does come it is as if the jaws of hell had opened. The heat of perdition’s furnaces will dry the new sweat from your face in an instant.  Open an oven preheated to 400 degrees and you will know something of the southern wind.  But it is not simply heat, it is a convection oven swirling around your body and draining your energy.  The sun’s harsh rays feel suddenly cool when a southern wind may briefly die down between gusts.  The wind from the south is an ugly wind, equatorial, full of the fires of man’s history of slaughter and hatred.  It is a wind that makes men mad and unwilling to work with one another.  The southern wind whispers to you with the flaming tongue of the snake.

Keep in mind that the wind does not blow, it sucks.  Wind is created by low pressure pulling air from areas of high pressure.  The iconic picture of Old Man Wind like a puffy cloud huffing breezes from pursed lips is wrong.  The wind is nature filling a vacuum.  And we all know how much nature abhors emptiness.

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