Monday, May 13, 2013

The Ticks of Dead Horse Bay


We were driving to Dead Horse Bay. We should have turned around right here. 

A few minutes beyond the Verrazano Bridge, a Jeep nearly killed us, practically forcing us off the road as it cruised sideways into our lane. Our friend Ariana, who was driving,  kept her cool and avoided disaster.  Then she went on with her story about the pigs of Nicaragua. 

So there was that.


When we got to Dead Horse Bay, we found the new oil pipeline in the works.

Stuh-rike two..!


But near the wide green grassy path to the beach I found a lot of juicy pokeweed shoots, and got to work.  A few minutes later I glanced down at my white linen pants. Ticks. Crawling up me. Squeal. So Ariana looked at herself. Ticks. Squeal. A few yards later there were fresh ones. Her blue canvas shoes were covered with them.

I can't really get over it. I come from Africa, where I scarcely see a tick, and in New York City I have to worry about them.


And so it went till we got to the beach. Where the wind whipped and the water was a sullen grey chop. We broke the tick news to Vincent who hates ticks beyond any other thing.


He seemed tick free. 

I found a couple of useful bottles from the constantly eroding shoreline, but we swung around the corner and towards a sandier return path, to beat a retreat. 


On the way back, the same thing. Ticks. I kept flicking them off poor Ariana with my foraging knife, as they appeared. I found only a few more on me. With orange sneakers and white pants I think they saw me as a bright alien being. But she, navy blue, was under siege. So much for the bucolic picnic I had imagined, lounging on the fresh spring grass. No way, Jose.

Instead, we tailgated on safe tarmac in the parking lot of Floyd Bennett, across the road - the enormous aerodrome-turned ill-maintained National Park. But not before the we had all retired to the odorous bathrooms to perform strip searches.


Field garlic pickles and chicken liver mousse. And I believe I downed the lion's share of the gin and tonic.

I hate ticks.

18 comments:

  1. Having had to have a few dug out, I'm not crazy about them either. They are less a problem here, thank goodness.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Me too! Deer visit the back yard here in Virginia and their parasites can carry a lot of nastiness. Not a good thing.

    On the other hand, it sounds like Esterbo is recovering - YAY! His purr comes through loud and clear on the Blondie mix.

    ReplyDelete
  3. eeeuuuu!! reminds me of a lovely day on Martha's Vineyard ... my husband and I went to the Bird Sanctuary (in March)! and we sat on a lush cliff overlooking the Sound. When we got back to the car we discovered we were covered with ticks!!! Also stopped at a public restroom to strip. It was hideous! I'm from California and in all my life I saw ONE tick that had attached itself to my son's ear after he'd been playing in the canyon for the day. ONE!!

    ReplyDelete
  4. I absolutely hate ticks and leeches! I also hate that trash picture--just breaks my heart. So sorry your idyllic picnic plan turned into a nightmare.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Terri - Dead Horse Bay was a dump, literally, in the first part of the last century, hence the old school trash. Bottle Beach attracts people on account of the glass bottles that are exposed by the tides eating away at the landfill. I have several nice specimens at home that I use for flowers or wine :-)

      Delete
  5. As I sit here reading your post while I cool off from a day weeding and digging in the garden, I have pulled two ticks out of my hair and one off my earlobe. aback. But it's worse when I find the embedded ones and need to do tweezer surgery. I had a very severe case of Lyme disease and Babesiosis (also tick borne) in 2008 -- facial paralysis, high fever, the whole awful course. Ticks are not just something the squeamish get all funny about. They are a serious health issue as I know first hand. (I was cured, no chronic problems)

    Parts of our outdoor world -- Connecticut where I am, and NY where you are -- are almost uninhabitable because of the ticks now. It certainly meant you could not enjoy a picnic on a nice day. I hate ticks too.

    ReplyDelete
  6. To add to your horror: Apparently ticks cannot see. They can feel you coming, the vibrations of your steps on the earth. They can sense your breath, they can feel your heat. And when they do they stand up on their hind legs and wriggle their fronts as you pass, clinging then to anything fibrous. Immediately they will hightail it upward, toward your head where they happen to love ears for their blood vessels close to the surface, but anywhere on the head will do thanks to the blood vessels wrapping our skulls.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ugh. I say if one can longer picnic or play outdoors, it's time to go!

      Delete
  7. The smelly park bathrooms, the gross plastic bottles, the ticks! oh my! ew.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Frank, thank you for my lifetime of impending nightmares.

    I'm all itchy now, just as I was reading this on FB last night. UGH UGH UGH

    ReplyDelete
  9. We don't have ticks on the western side of Washington state and I'd never seen one until I visited my father's hometown in Arkansas. I was fresh meat on the hoof.....ick!

    ReplyDelete
  10. Seeing your photo of Bottle Beach stirs something in me almost before my brain even registers what it is I'm looking at! Beachcombing and foraging are my favourite things to do - they satisfy some ancient, deep desire to seek out and gather. Know what I mean?

    ReplyDelete
  11. I hate ticks too and have experienced looking down at my pants and seeing them crawling up. I had to put my son on a picnic bench and take off all his clothes to make sure they were gone. This is a great post, really interesting. And the picnic, count me in!!

    ReplyDelete
  12. ...............I think I would have been OK hand me the gin, forget the tonic. Just plain ick!

    Lisa, London

    ReplyDelete
  13. Funny, "I hate ticks" used to be on my about page. I wonder where it went...

    ReplyDelete
  14. What a coincidence- I just posted about picking a tick off of my dog yesterday on my blog. I kept imagining seeing more on her (and me as well) for the rest of the day. Just thinking about it now makes me itch.

    ReplyDelete

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...