July 2, 2007

The Bane of Nature..

I love being outdoors, I really do. I love encouraging my kids to explore God's creation and spend as much time in the spring-fall outside as we can. Very little discourages me from being outside. But I do have my weaknesses and I have had to overcome them over the years. For me there are two banes of nature that I could simply live without.

With how much time we spend outdoors it should not surprise me how many of these we see in a season. We have already pulled off more than I can count just this year. Even in Ireland we were awoken in the night to realize we had a tick crawling in our bed after our country hike. There is nothing quite like the feeling of waking up in the middle of the night with something crawling on your arm only to feel and discover it is a tick. Or looking at the back of your sons head and discovering that yes indeed that is a tell tale bullseye symbol on his neck.

Now you might think with how many ticks have hidden themselves on us that we are irresponsible in nature. Nope, we wear long sleeves and pants often, light colored clothes, hair pulled back, baseball caps and do a tick check both at the site after we are done walking and again before bed each day we have been in likely tick areas. Still we manage to bring some home with us and even get bit from time to time. We caught Ciaran's pretty early and the medicine took care of it - it is the ones we could miss that concern me.

Still even with the ticks we are heading out on hikes, in brushy areas, looking for frogs and walking the less traveled path. We do our best to try to keep them away and leave them where they belong. The other offender is much harder to ignore and more likely to leave us running for the solace of indoor shelter.

Let me introduce you to the State Bird of Minnesota:

I have lived in a lot of states and traveled to nearly all in the United States and I have never been to a place that is worse for these pests than here. I suppose we live in the land of 10,000 lakes what can I expect? I am resistant to bug repellent but if we want to be outdoors at all we need to use it. Okay I am exaggerating slightly but only slightly. We don't use it every time we walk out the door but for sure on hikes, camping trips, dusk, fourth of july and being outside in the evening without a fire.

Why is this on my mind? Because today I found 5 mosiquito bites, Sirah has another four and we found two ticks this week! _Sigh_ but it is all part of being a "nature girl" as I tell Rhiannon every time she complains about the bugs. She always reminds me she simply does not like the blood sucking ones. I can't say I blame her - I don't like them either. But they won't keep me indoors. Any other banes of nature out there for you?


  1. Good for you! I love the outdoors, I just don't like any of what comes with it... no bugs or rodents! Ticks and spiders are high on my not ok list! I hope I can still encourage my kids in being outside like you do. My DH loves the outdoors... usually I just deal with it, but I'm pretty jumpy. :)

  2. Ewwww - poison ivy. The DH found some in our wooded area this week. And small rodents. They creep me out. Other than that, I'm with you on the ticks. They have been worse this year. But the mosquitos were non-existent for us last night. I don't know why, unless it's been the incessant helicopter buzzing that's been going on around here. ugggh!

  3. Anonymous1:09 PM

    Introducing the state bird with the photo of the mosquito is TOO FUNNY! I just had to laugh and thank you for the giggle! I love reading this blog, by the way. I don't stop by often enough but I love the way you write - it makes for a fun, happy place on the web!