It’s been ages since I’ve written any kind of blog entry. Mostly because, as I mentioned in the last blog post, I’ve been focusing on my photography and my Etsy Shop. And, OC devotee that I am, I really only have time for one obsession at a time.
Which is also because nature photography can be a pain.
Because the subjects are notorious drama queens and often completely uncooperative.
Take ladybugs for example…you might think this is an easy or fun picture to capture:
And I am kind of proud of it. But that overlooks the fact that I have waaayyyy more pictures like this in which the Ladybug decides if it can’t see me, then I can’t see it and it scampers to the underside of the flower stalk to hide:
And, seriously, who wants a picture of the bottom of a ladybug? No one, that’s who.
Or you stalk a gorgeous Tiger Swallowtail all through your lily garden, braving mosquitoes and loudly complaining dogs, to get the perfect shot and the butterfly is so hopped up on pollen, that it basically flings itself head first into the flower like some sort of addict having a fit.
Even worse is the problem that the places you go are often populated by creatures that you weren’t actually wanting to photograph. Like, when you are trying with all your might to get a shot of a monarch butterfly dancing around a button bush and all of a sudden you shout “Holy crap, is that a SNAKE?”
Or—far worst of all—you go someplace called the Osage Forest of Peace only to find that it should be called the Osage Bastion of Bloodsucking Beasts. Or the Horrendous Hideout of Horrifying Hematomaniacs. Or the Pernicious Purview of Pustulating Parasites.
Basically, what I’m saying is that the name should mention the fact that teeming hordes of TICKS roam this allegedly peaceful forest in a decidedly unpeaceful manner.
A fact we sadly became aware of as we were hiking the trails, looking for wildlife to photograph, when out of nowhere Opie said “There’s a tick on my leg.” Which is upsetting in any circumstance but was quickly compounded by the fact that there were multiple ticks on his legs…and his shoes and his shirt. I wanted to be sympathetic but this was impossible because I was very busy brushing ticks off my own clothes with reckless abandon.
“What the heck is going on?” I shouted (in the interest of keeping this blog family friendly, we’ll pretend I actually said heck). “We need to get the heck out of here!”
So we ran for it as best we could over narrow trails and uneven ground…but part of the problem with these insect infestations is that as soon as you notice one on your body, you instantly imagine a teeming horde of the monsters, scampering through your hair, running up and down your back, baring their fangs and clamping on like miniscule pitbulls.
So the running was punctuated by us slapping ourselves hysterically, shaking our arms and legs like we were in some forest-inspired dance ritual, and shouting like maniacs.
It is interesting to note that the Forest of Peace clearly does NOT have security cameras on their trails or we would have been apprehended at the trail head and taken in for psychiatric evaluation.
After we made it out of the forest and drove home, we decided, in the interest of the continued good health of the ridiculous mongrels that share our home, to get undressed in the washroom and throw our clothes immediately in the washing machine.
“I’ve got one embedded in my leg.” Opie said ruefully.
And I would again have been sympathetic except, at just that moment, I slipped out of my yoga pants and watched 2 humongous, monster-sized tick beasts dart across the front of my underwear.
Let me repeat that for maximum effect:
I HAD TICKS IN MY UNDERWEAR.
I would like to report what happened then but, I’m not going to lie, the next few minutes are a bit of a blur of screams, tears, and hysterical stripping.
And just in case anyone is worried that this story is about to take a weird erotic turn, let me assure you there is NOTHING appealing about a slightly chubby middle aged woman jumping around naked and checking her body for ticks!
Especially when she finds not one, not two, not even three or four, but NINE, that’s right NINE freaking ticks embedded in her body.
Pretty much the WORST HIKE EVER.
So, the long and the short of it is, nature photography is fraught with peril, I can feel Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever coursing through my tick-scarred veins, and the only good shot I got that day was the whipped cream vodka Opie very wisely added to my coffee.