April 1, 2012

Tick, tick, tick: the sound / sight of summer

Say good-bye to March, everybody.  Forget that whole "comes in like a lion, goes out like a lamb" truism.  March came in like a summer day at the beach, threw a few tornadoes into the works, and then wandered out with eighty degree weather.

My appreciation for daffodils was a bit less than in the previous decades of my life. Used to be, the bright yellow atop the green was the symbol that winter would not last forever; that our reprieve would soon be upon us.  This year, though, we didn't need a reprieve.  We needed an extended series of below-freezing days to freeze the ground deep enough to wipe out the new crop of fleas and ticks and other crawly varmints.  We didn't get it, and the proof that this summer's going to be a mass of insects making life miserable is that I found a tick in my hair last week.

That's right.  I said it:  a tick.  Yep, a Rocky Mountain Fever carrying nemesis, and even if it's not carrying diseases a downright unpleasant visitor in your ponytail.  I retrieved it, set it on the bathroom sink for close observation, and had only a moment to observe its little arms flailing in futile pursuit of my blood before my compadre grabbed it up in a bit of paper and flushed it away.

Do you know the worst thing about ticks?  For three months after finding one, you feel as though at least one is slowly making its way up your body at all times.  That's what ticks do.  They head for the sky, by which I mean the top of your head.

Do you know the best thing about ticks?  Once you discover the first tick on yourself, you are forever permitted to say to friends, families, and loves, "Check my head for ticks.  Please." and they are morally bound, it seems to me and my children, to give you a headrub.  It's almost a fair exchange, unless the tick discovered had actually dug its little snout into you and begun sucking your blood.  Then it's just creepy.

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