Wednesday, April 21, 2010

What makes the ticks tick

People have a lot of bad things to say about ticks. Actually, people probably only have one bad thing to say about ticks. They just say it a lot.

Supposedly it's only the females that suck blood. They hang out in the grass until some warm blooded animal happens by. Then they go for a ride, find a spot to nestle down (usually behind some animal's ear or something), and gorge themselves on blood. The get so full they can't hold on anymore, and they fall off and lay eggs somewhere.
It sounds like a pretty boring existence.

And as much as I dislike ticks in general, if you ever just look at one tick, it's kind of fascinating.
It's hard to notice a tick unless it's crawling on you. And despite their name, wood ticks like to hang out in the grass. Also, if you follow all rules and stay on the trail where you're supposed to be, then they'll pretty much be avoided all together.
I have a job that gets me off the main trail. And sometimes, if I slow down and look around instead of trudge through to get from one spot to the next, I get a chance to see something really interesting.
I noticed somehow out of the corner of my eye a tick in the grass. As I got closer this tick, only a few millimeters in size (well, the size of a tick), I saw that it started to reach out with its arms... or a couple of its legs... you know what I mean.

And after the initial reaction of, "Those jerks! Hanging around trying to catch a ride and a meal. I hate ticks!" ... after that initial reaction, I realized hmmmm... that's actually pretty interesting.

Of course I didn't have a camera with me that first time, so these photos are staged. But you have to admit, it's kind of cool... in a weird and creepy way.

1 comment:

kt jo said...

No. Not interesting. Disgusting. You can never convince me to not hate ticks. The only reason I am not afraid of them as much as I am centipedes is simply because I do not see them as much. When I was 8 I thought I had this weird growth/bump on my head. It was there for months. being a weird kid, I never questioned it. My mom finally discovered that it was a tick that had been on my head for so long it was like an inch long! and deep red because it was full of my blood. Writing about it makes me want to try. You should have burned the one reaching out for you. Ick.

See you Saturday???