My brother, Uncle E., came into town for a surprise trip this weekend. (No, that's not what gave me the heebie jeebies. I like my brother. We have a good time together and laugh a lot. It's great!) Yesterday he decided that he wanted to go scope out a new botanical garden that is being built in our town, and The Kids and I decided to join him. Little did I know that the botanical garden at this point in time is little more than a visitor's center and a nature trail. No biggie, though. It was a beautiful day and Uncle E's whole reason for wanting to go there was so that he could take pictures of the garden in its beginning state.
Here's where the heebie jeebies come into the picture.
We hiked down a wide trail for about 15 minutes or so, through woods and clearings, happily stopping to take pictures and enjoy nature. Enjoy nature, that is, until I reached into my pocket to get something out to show The Kids and realized that I had a friend in there.
A six legged friend.
"OH!" I said. "That's a TICK!"
And I looked down on my legs...and realized that I had more ticks on me. I looked at The Kids feet and realized that they had ticks on them. Apparently, ticks live in the woods (DUH!) and had decided that today was the day to try to munch on the visitors to the "botanical garden". Now, I will say that most of these were baby ticks, so they were about the size of a pin head. That doesn't decrease the heebie jeebie factor, though, because we all know that little baby ticks grow up into big ugly ticks, and that's just NOT ACCEPTABLE anywhere on my body.
For the sake of The Kids, I tried not to freak out too much. They were already throughly freaked out, with Reilly crying, "GET THEM OFF OF ME!!" so I told Uncle E. that we'd meet him back at the car. I did my best to not run from the woods, shrieking at the top of my lungs, slapping at my exposed skin like a *baboon on fire. We scurried back to the visitor center where I made The Kids strip down to their underwear in the bathroom so that I could check them for more. Then I stripped myself down so I could check my skin. I found probably thirty or forty ticks between the three of us, either on us or on our clothing or in our shoes. Most were babies, but there were at least a few that were adults.
So, that was our experience at the botanical garden. I don't know that we'll ever venture out into nature again.
* Troy helped me with the baboon simile and I just cracked UP! Because a baboon on fire would slap themselves differently than, say, a clown on fire?