Ticks and Mosquitoes

The sensation is like that of a feather vaguely wandering across the skin.  Slowly, like ripples spreading in a pool of consciousness, the mind awakens to the touch; there is something crawling on me! Out at The Springs we are under attack from the ground and air by ticks and mosquitoes. Good Lord! The ticks are thick and “questing” and, along with their airborne allies, they share an affinity for the same flesh to satisfy their wanton blood lust. The ticks leave a memory upon the surface of the skin that comes to mind again and again; long after they have moved on. Every itch and tingle is a tick! They are in My Truck, waiting for me!

Despite the little things that try patience and distract from the pure joy of living, I spent two Happy Days at The Springs this past Wednesday and Thursday (May 29-30). Rich Csavoy joined me on Wednesday and we had a marvelous time girdling aspen, pulling garlic mustard, piling buckthorn and discussing the first principles of philosophy. Here is a video tour of the north side of the Scuppernong River, just west of the old barn site, where we made around 13 piles.

The view downstream from the work site.

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Looking at the new brush piles from the hotel site.

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We are seeing a green heron quite frequently at the marl pit bridge.

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The Sauk Campground as seen from the marl pit.

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The pit.

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The valley.

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Lindsay, and his mate, Connie, stopped over and shared a delicious bottle of Zinfandel from the Lewis Station Winery wine with me and we surveyed the prairie as evening descended.

I was back at it again on Thursday with a stop down at the Scuppernong Spring to get some drinking water.

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Here is a walking tour of the Sauk Campground with the advantage of the morning sun behind me.

I took a chance that it would not rain and sprayed 8 gallons of glyphosate on first year garlic mustard seedlings, which literally carpet many newly cleared areas. Then I girdled a clonal colony of aspen on the west side of the river across from hotel site. The goal is to keep the boundary areas along the river valley free of aspen. And finally, I returned to the north side of the scuppernong river, west of the old barn site, between the river and cut-off trail, to pile buckthorn.

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Check out this patch of geraniums!

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The water level is up to around .4′ from the early spring levels around .34′ and it seems like the river channel is getting more narrowly defined, i.e. some of the marl and muck is getting washed downstream.

The Emerald Springs are constantly changing their configuration.

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I recently discovered John Muir’s writings and just listened to The Story of My Boyhood and Youth. I don’t think anyone can describe clouds like John Muir. From The Mountains of California:

When the glorious pearl and alabaster clouds of these noonday storms are being built I never give attention to anything else. No mountain or mountain-range, however divinely clothed with light, has a more enduring charm than those fleeting mountains of the sky–floating fountains bearing water for every well, the angels of the streams and lakes; brooding in the deep azure, or sweeping softly along the ground over ridge and dome, over meadow, over forest, over garden and grove; lingering with cooling shadows, refreshing every flower, and soothing rugged rock-brows with a gentleness of touch and gesture wholly divine.

 

Scuppernong Storm Clouds.

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See you at The Springs!

7 thoughts on “Ticks and Mosquitoes

  1. Mosquitoes can be annoying, but ticks just freak me out! I’ve had quite a few on me just from walking in the woods near my house. Luckily, none of them got the chance to “dig in”. I get pretty paranoid. I’ll probably be camping at Ottawa in a few weeks, so I’ll definitely have to continuously watch for ticks. I’ll be setting up that Tree Swallow house by the Marl Pit bridge, too.

  2. Pingback: Super Friends of the Scuppernong Springs | Scuppernong Springs Nature Trail

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