The Ticks Got Me

“Get ready to come in at 7:30 am next week to go into the field” Thadra, my supervisor, said to me on Friday afternoon. The moment I had been longing for had finally arrived. A smile spread across my face as I realized it was time for some fieldwork.

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The night before, I prepared my field clothes; A hair wrap and baseball cap, undershirt and long sleeve tee, cotton cargo pants, thick crew length socks and hiking boots, all intended to protect me from natures wrath. In my field bag I pack a first aid kit, 3 liters of water, measuring tape, a trowel, a granola bar, and a bastard file (eventually I will add my lunch for the day as well). I set my alarm for 6 am and hope I wake up on time

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The sound of the alarm blared through my house at 6 am and I quickly prepared myself for the day that was to come. I drank a liter of water before I left the house to make sure I started the day off hydrated being that after a couple hours in the hot, humid, and swampy Florida weather, you could easily pass out as a result of heat exhaustion. I ate a light and filling breakfast and headed out. When we got to the field, we used our handy Trimble Total Station to create a topographic map of a shell midden located in the St. mark Wildlife Refuge. After taking various topographic points with the Trimble and numerous encounters with massive yellow banana spiders, it was time to head back to the office. 

Once we got back, we had to unload the equipment we used, and I noticed that there was something biting at my ankle. I pulled down my sock and saw a huge tick just sitting at the top of my foot. I quickly pinched it off with some tweezers, ran to the nearest bathroom, and flushed it down the toilet. At that moment, I noticed my skin was agitated near my stomach, and later realized there was another tick in my belly button. Another came out of my waistband and I decided it was time for a full- blown tick check. I pulled off a total of 16 ticks from my body that day. However, would I do it again? Absolutely. 

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