We're on the shore of Lake Superior in Grand Marais, MI and I should have known the gorgeous weather and postcard-picture Lake Superior sunset we watched  last night comes with a cost when the campground manager asked if I wanted to be in the Fourth of July parade.

“What would I do.” I asked.

“The black fly dance,” said Sheila.

Seems the campers at the Woodland Park Campground here walk the parade road in the tiny little downtown, swatting themselves and jumping up and down going “ouch”, pantomiming the normal reaction the painful bite of the black fly.

As I post this, I'm sitting at the picnic table and have seen only one of the dread Michigan Upper Peninsula black flies, which some of the Yoopers up here think should be the state's official bird.

“They were so bad the other day at Hurricane beach that people said they were swarmed and literally attacked as soon as they went outside,” Linda said.

There's no explanation – other than the hot, abnormally warm weather the area is experiencing – for the lack of the flies.

But U.P. veterans tell me I shouldn't let my guard down.

“This isn't normal,” said a buy walking two Schnauzers I met on the way back from the park office. “They'll be here. Black flies are just part of the UP.”