Doing Federal Time

Leech Lake Campground is so clean, so manicured, and so beautiful that it’s hard to believe they don’t spray the deer flies and mosquitoes. Maybe it’s a food chain thing. Dragonflies depend on mosquitoes as a food source; certain birds love to chow down on deer flies. But couldn’t an exception be made for just these 50 acres in Federal Dam, MN? And it doesn’t seem to be a question of money – there is a full-time campground host and three trailers full of helpers on the payroll.  Kat saw one of them pulling weeds!   I think somebody in management, probably an entomology major, admires predatory insects.

The deer flies like full sun, and don’t find Picaridin especially off-putting. Minnesotans recommend 40% DEET, which is hard to find and is a suspected carcinogen. When people consciously choose to risk cancer over insect bites, you know them be some bad biters.  I went out for a bike ride yesterday, with almost all exposed skin covered in Cutter Advanced, and one of those speedy flies tried to get up in my nostril. That’s hungry, maybe even gross.

The ‘skeeters prefer shade, and are out in clouds in late afternoon and early morning. They’re always out there somewhere, waiting for a meal to wander into the shade and for the dragonflies to call it a day. These biters dislike repellent, but there’s always one or two who just don’t care. We’re going to be here until Sunday, and rain, the mosquito’s favorite weather, is in the forecast tonight.

Leech Lake with Storm Movin' In
Leech Lake with Storm Movin’ In

Maybe the rain will lower temperatures and everybody can cover up in long sleeves. Otherwise we’re confined to our cell. The views are nice, but it would be nicer to sit out once in a while. We hear a loon some mornings. The loons are nesting and their chicks will be swimming with them soon. The camp hosts like to think somebody caught old Siegfried, the huge muskie who caught last year’s loon chicks. A visit to the lake would be nice indeed.

Goose Family
Goose Family
Leech Lake Music, Not Garrison Keilor
Leech Lake Music, Not Garrison Keillor
View From Cell Window
View From Cell Window
Note the Life-Saving Screen
Note the Life-Saving Screen

With the recent solar activity there is even a chance of seeing the Northern Lights from here. But you’d have to go out at night.

That would be nothing less than insane.

One thought on “Doing Federal Time

  1. Perhaps try using full strength tea tree oil as a repellent?

    If it’s too strong, mix it with some jojoba oil.

    Given what you described, and have tried already, it may not work, but at least these oils are safe to use.

    Living in the mountains, I find tea tree oil (full strength) an excellent repellent, but then I may not be up against the same kind of bug attacks.

    When I first scanned the post, I thought Kat meant she saw some bugs pulling weeds. 😉

    Sure sounds like they are big and strong enough to do it. 🙂

    It’s such a shame that you can’t enjoy the lake, and see the Northern Lights.

    I hope things soon improve for going outside.

    If all else fails, there are net bug suits. 😀

    Not the most attractive of items, but here is a link:


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