Wednesday, May 28, 2008

The Down Side to Nature Study

I got chiggers this weekend. Ouch. I'm just glad it was me and not the kids. Actually, Cornflower does have one or two bites, but they don't seem to be bothering her unduly, which is a blessing. But she got a mosquito bite on her eye. It has swelled up and looks like someone punched her, but her eye is not swollen shut, so it is not as bad as it could be.

I now know that when we are heading into woods that have never been clear-cut, and are maintained strictly in their virgin condition, we should wear bug spray. Lots of bug spray. And tuck our jeans into our socks. And perhaps some kerosene around the ankles would not be amiss.

I have found that an evening regiment of warm vinegar bath, oral Benadryl, and clear nail polish on the bites, will enable me to sleep without scratching my ankles raw. It also helps to make a bed-tent and not let anything touch the bites.

I am filing this away for future reference when my kids are uncomfortable with bites or rashes. I am not naturally a ministering angel, and need these little reminders.

Here are a few more of the pictures I took as the chiggers chewed:

Turtle or Snake Eggs

We thought these were snake eggs when we found them. But now I wonder if they might have been turtle eggs.

Turtle or Snake Eggs III

The hollow around which the eggshells were strewn was just above the trail that followed the bank of the pond. When the girls were much smaller we came upon a turtle laying eggs in a similar hollow near a pond in our neighborhood, and the eggs looked a lot like these. These eggshells were perfectly round. A friend has a nest of turtle eggs at her house and said hers are oblong or egg-shaped. Are some turtle eggs round? I did not touch the eggshells, and in fact took these pictures rather quickly in case there was a snake around that wanted to bite me (now I see I should have feared the chiggers more), but I think they were leathery and pliable. I am not sure if turtle eggs are like that. I need to look this stuff up.


Emily said...

Hi Katie,
I've just been catching up on your posts here, and am wondering whether you ever found out what type of eggs you found. They look like the remnants of snapping turtle eggs to me (which are round). I've come across them a few times on walks, always in a hollowed out area of dirt. This is the time of year to find babies, too! They're quite small and blend in the the dark soil so keep a sharp eye out and you may find a new pet. :)

Katie said...

No, we hadn't found out what these were. Thanks for letting me know! I thought initially they were snake eggs because of the way the hollow was dug-- it was so deep, it was hard to tell whether it was a hole or a hollow.

Snapping turtle eggs.