St Croix River Road Ramblings

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Monday, May 14, 2012


#&$%### Wood Ticks are bugging me all the time!  Even when I don't have a real one crawling on me, I get the feeling that one is creeping up my leg, scurrying on my back or neck, always crawling upwards and inwards towards my core.  

I pulled one out of my beard this morning that had a big chunk of me in his jaws.  These are the big regular ticks, not the small deer ticks.  I pick them off and use my thumbnail to crush them against my pointer finger tip.  Years of pounding the computer keys have given me finger tips that are hard as steel, so if I want, I can cut a tick in half and watch each part straggle off looking to rejoin (actually, cutting them in half is a quick humane death).  

15 years ago or so, I took the Lyme's disease vaccine parts one and two.  By the third year when I showed up for the last shot, it had been discontinued for humans and reserved for pets only.  I think the two shots must have given me some immunity, as I have never gotten Lymes and it is likely I have an average of 5 ticks each day for May and June, and one stuck in every other day.   Most of my neighbors who are outdoors folks have gone through the antibiotics treatment at least once.  Doctors up here just give the antibiotics if you come in and complain you have had a tick bite and are feeling ticklishness.

I am sitting on the porch writing this as the sun sinks down, the wind is gone, it is 80 degrees and a few mosquitoes are bothering me while a single humming bird buzzes the feeder and I alternately type, scratch, feel for a tick, often yanking up my shirt or dropping my pants to find an imaginary crawler.  Luckily, Chuck, my only neighbor on the lake is out of site and Margo is still in Pine Island recovering from her botox to the vocal cords shot (she goes silent for a few days, and doesn't think she can live with me without being able to raise her voice occasionally).  Worst is the slowly recovering nerves from the knee replacement tingle as they come to life and make me sure a tick is crawling when it is just the leg itself.  

Oh well, the mosquitoes will soon be worse.   

And--I saw my first two fireflies last night.  They were in the woods, high in the trees rather than on the ground.  Such a bright greenish light blinking makes me think summer is already here!