With everything else going on this week, there was one annoying constant: itching insect bites from last weekend's party and party prep.
The chiggers got my ankles and one knee. It's kind of hot in my office, so the bites itch pretty much all day long, but I tune them out as much as I can.
The chigger bites are nothing compared to the piece de resistance, a spider bite on my upper right arm. It itches, too, and also sports an alarming 1.5-inch diameter round, red blotch. Believe me, I looked up spider bites online to make sure it wasn't going to dissolve my flesh. After a week, this is as bad as it gets.
When I was growing up, nature was much closer and nastier. We couldn't play outside until our parents checked the peony bushes for rattlesnakes and copperheads. Thanks to the snakes, we weren't allowed to go into the barn by ourselves. All summer long there were ticks everywhere and the dogs would be covered with them. We had plants in our back yard that produced little "stickers" that would stick painfully in your bare feet. There were nettles in the woods and thistles out by the barn.
Now that I live in the 'burbs, I've gotten spoiled. We have less than a half acre of yard, yet I complain about every case of poison oak and chigger bite I get when I'm out there. I start to think it might be fun to move into the city and live in a loft. Then if I need a nature fix, I can just go to a park!
I won't do that, though. I'd probably never go back to a more rural existence, but I'm pretty happy with our big expanse of yard. I just need to learn to apply repellant from now on.