Oops! Forgot to post this until I read about zzOtherlandzz mosquitoes.
On the Friday ride I posted about, I stopped to eat lunch just north of the Pithlachascotee River bridge, (about 3 miles south of SR52). Since I was planning to eating a sandwich, I leaned the bike up, took my gear off, and sat down on the park bench there. I no sooner pulled my sandwich out than I felt something stinging my legs. I looked down and they were covered with these tiny winged insects that were a quarter inch long or bigger.
I jumped up and stomped all the beggars off my legs, geared back up and took off. I knew there was another rest stop with a picnic table a mile away just south of the bridge. So I rode/stopped there. It was the same story, just not as bad. I had to eat my sandwich while walking around so they wouldn't bother me.
Today my legs have about a dozen itchy, swollen red spots all about a quarter inch in diameter. Not a big deal, cause that kind of crap doesn't bother me much, but thought I'd warn anyone rides that way to just keep on riding until you get to an alternate rest area.
We've run into this before at a favorite rest stop near the water on the Pinellas Trail. Never a problem, then one spring day we got swarmed by the same biting *something*. Thirty days later there was no trace of them.
What were they? Biting flies? Deer flies, (which live on blood), are a suspect, although that would mean the red spots were an allergic reaction, and I am generally not allergic to anything but ignorant people.
Some sort of small bee, (we used to call them sweat bees), with a venomous sting would fit the symptoms, too. But, who knows? I didn't take the time to study one closely enough to identify it. Knee deep, alligators, swamp.
So just a word to the wise, and it might be a general warning for this area of Florida and any rest stop near any of the rivers and creeks. For a month or so, anyway.