Daniel Novak Photo | June Bugs on the Waterfront

June Bugs on the Waterfront

July 17, 2012  •  Leave a Comment

I am a bit late writing about this. It's been on my list for about a month. But it's a funny story even if no longer relevant this year. Maybe you will remember it next year when something similar happens to you.

International Railroad Bridge over the Niagara River at sunset, before the June Bugs struck!

I continued my project to shoot local bridges and went to Squaw Island on the Niagara River in Buffalo, NY, to watch the sun set over the International Railroad Bridge. I did not even walk too far from the parking lot and set my camp on the river shore rocks about 2 minutes from my car. About 60 feet from me was a very friendly guy, Eugene, who just came to enjoy the beauty with his eyes and binoculars. He made the evening so much more enjoyable by commenting on what he saw through the binoculars, whether on the boats passing by or on the opposite shore in Canada.

The sun has set, Eugene packed up quickly and said he was out of there before the June bugs come. He did not want to get bitten. I had never heard of June bugs before, had no idea what they might be, or whether he was just in general referring to all insects that happen to show up after sunset. I continued taking pictures of the bridge as the colors in the sky intensified, and later faded. I tried long and short exposures, with and without filters, it was a good time and the cool breeze over the water felt wonderful after the hot summer day.

When I was done, it was getting quite dark but I figured I'd walk around the island a bit to pick a possible spot for the next time. I think I walked about 200 years or so when all of a sudden I was under an intense attack! Several flying bugs were flying around my head and crashing into me, into my head, back, legs, everywhere. They did not just fly around, they were crashing right into me! I had no idea what they were and Eugene's words sounded in my head over and over.

Needless to say, this was one of the fastest retreats from a photo expedition ever. I pretty much ran all the way to the car. There was a bit more fun with some bugs under my shirt and getting in the car, but in the end, I survived and looking back at the incident makes me chuckle. I can still see myself running, waving my hands, and wondering why the crazy bugs went after me like that.

Thank you Eugene, you tired to warn me but I was clueless.

Have fun and keep clicking!


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