I hate ticks. They give me the creeps. I put them in the same category as scorpions which are also hateful and give me the creeps. I have enough biological training to understand that every creature has it's place in the great ecosystem of the world so I'm not ready to annihilate all the ticks and scorpions. But I would love a magic bubble that would keep them all away from me.
The last time I talked about ticks was after my last trip to Maine. I love Maine although some of the Mainers are a bit odd, charmingly odd but odd never the less. I love the mountains, the ocean, the puffins, the pottery and my friend Nancy Whitbeck who raises goats and has a shop where she sells goat's milk and cheese and soap and cut flowers and pralines. But the last time I was there they also had a bumper crop of ticks. Even now it makes my entire body itch just thinking about having to check the bed sheets for ticks when I was ready to retire.
Of course, Maine is not the only place that has ticks. In fact, ticks are found in all 50 states and we have 90 or so different species of ticks spread out across the country. I remember dusting my ankles with sulfur when I went out to ride a friend's horse in Tulsa to discourage the ticks. We certainly had ticks in Illinois growing up. And we have ticks here in Texas. I have always alleged that our fire ants eat ticks and that helps keep their populations under control. Google seems to agree with me. I have found engorged ticks on the goats but only once or twice in all the years we've had them.
All of this brings me to point of this blog. Ron has been working on the large tree that crashed through our fence last week. While the big tree itself is still laying on the ground in the hole it made in our fence, Ron has been pealing away the layers of grapes so he could get at the fence and make enough repairs that the animals could be let back into the pasture. And he has pulled a couple of ticks off himself in the process. Well, crap. I better check myself, too, since I have been out there a couple of times to help. And, yes. I pulled a tick off of me too.
I hate ticks.