Sunday, July 19, 2015

Insects: Ticks in the grass and Ladybugs.....oh my

Ticks. They live in the grass. And can bite my ass.

The evil tick from today

But they prefer to attach themselves to the warmer, hidden bits of the body, where they feed on our blood.  Earlier this year, I found a tiny one at the edge of my pubic hair after a photoshoot in a natural location full of plants.  One year I had one in my knee pit. A couple of weeks ago, after a shoot in Maine, I watched another nearby hiker flap around, stripping off clothing and yelling about the numerous ticks all over his body. My own search yielded none, but I had primarily been on mossy rocks near the stream, and he had traversed through tall grasses.

Today I finished lounging at the backyard of a friend’s home, and when I pulled my hair into a bun I found a hideous lump on my scalp. Further investigation led to me pulling out a puffy tick. This sucker had been feasting on my blood. I should have squashed him, or bagged him, but I took a photo and found myself a health clinic. Pennsylvania is going through a tick season with a high rate of Lyme disease and that is not something to be messed around with. My dose of antibiotics should do the trick, assuming this guy had not been on me too long. I'll remain confident in this until shown a reason to feel otherwise.


Photographed by Anthony Alberts

While on the topic of insects, here are some zany photos of me with ladybugs. Creativity and art manifests itself in so many ways. 

When I was little, I was on a family vacation, hiking with my family in the woods of Northern California, when we found a nest of a zillion ladybugs. Being a young, animal obsessed child, I picked up these adorable insects by the handful. I laden my body with them. Ladybugs crawled everywhere. 

A little while later I was screaming. One was in my ear and he was taking a tour of his surroundings. This was not comfortable.

My dad humored me by sticking a straw in my ear and sucking really hard. Nothing came out, therefore, there was no insect in there. My nurse mother, assumed I had an ear infection, and pulled out a medicated ear dropper recently used by my brother. A little medicine would calm the pain.

The drops did help, but I still hurt. There was something inhabiting my ear canal. I was invaded. 

We found a medical clinic after returning to our cabin, left my brothers in care of my sister and went there that night. A man came tearing in with a plastic bag with a couple of fingers wrapped inside. He had worked at a Chinese restaurant and been overzealous with his knife. He was seen immediately as we would all hope. While waiting, my mother was offered a microscope and lo and behold, a little ladybug lay collapsed in my ear.

Hours later, the staff flushed out the ladybug with a syringe of water. We were informed that all that was needed was a little flashlight, and we could have guided the lost ladybug back into the world, with a little more faith in a child's proclamations.



  1. Must have been a male ladybug. I've heard of "putting a bug in someone's ear," but this sounds scary and painful.

  2. Must have been a male ladybug. I've heard of "putting a bug in someone's ear," but this sounds scary and painful.

    1. It was quite the ordeal, and memorable experience. My parents saved the ladybug in a vial for years.....very strange

    2. It was quite the ordeal, and memorable experience. My parents saved the ladybug in a vial for years.....very strange

  3. Walking through tall grass...very artistic and primeval, but not recommended. Chiggers also infest places like that, and nothing on this earth itches like having a mess of chiggers burrowed into your hair follicles. Yellow sulfur powder mixed with Vaseline seems to kill them for scabies too.

    I had a massive infestation of dog ticks on my property and I got into them clearing brush along a trail through the woods. They were juvenile ticks, smaller than a pinhead, but they caused really itchy sores...dozens of them. Had to pick them all off with tweezers. Dog ticks in our area don't seem to carry diseases, I didn't get sick from them.

    Strangely, they were just around for that one time, and I haven't seen them since...good riddance.

    1. I had an incident with chiggers when I was young, too. I don't want to repeat that.....

      Your tick experience doesn't sound like much fun, either.

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  4. Repellent around the ankles is supposed to be good for avoiding both ticks and chiggers.

    1. Probably not helpful if I"m actually laying in grass. :) Although a blanket on the ground would be a good solution for that.

  5. A friend who was a Florida native told a bunch of us that a fifth of whiskey is the best chigger remedy. We asked him how you daub it on. He said..."Heck no, you don't put it on your drink it. By the time that bottle is half empty I guarantee you won't feel itchy anymore."