Turns out I was wrong about summer lasting only a week in Austria. Our garden has been exploding in the heat. The tomato plants are as tall as I am.

The heat has its nice aspects. I prefer less dramatic weather. A little cloudy, a little drizzle, like the Pacific Northwest where I grew up often is, but it’s nice to sit in the back yard nakedĀ  pitting cherries.

And the heat does keep the slugs at bay.

I was coming to terms with the heat when my wife asked me to take out the compostable garbage. I don’t know what the system is like where you live, but in my village we have three garbage cans, one for paper, one for biodegradeable garbage, and one for burnable, sundry garbage. Glass and tin cans you have to take to a central collection place. Oh, and we also get these large plastic bags into which we are to put plastic garbage, such as plastic bottles – they’re collecting those tomorrow, can’t forget to put out the yellow bag. My wife called me from Japan this morning to remind me.

Apparently it was the first time the compostable garbage bin had been opened since the hot weather started. Not only was the interior absolutely alive with maggots, it was also dense with flies. They can’t have been flies that somehow got into the bin, they must have been former bin maggots that had completely passed through that phase and grown wings and so on and were just milling around in there waiting for someone to come and open the lid so they could all swarm out in this Carlsbad Caverns-style swarm.

So there I was, engulfed in rambunctious flies.

I don’t know what you think about at a time like that. I instinctively clenched every orifice tightly shut and thought about imprinting – that phenomenon where a baby duck decides the first thing it sees is its mother.

Luckily, flies don’t imprint.

At least not these flies.