Monday, April 21, 2008

Nature Meditation and Creepy Crawlies

I just wrote an a quick n dirty guide about nature awareness on my dream studies blog. Really I should publish it here on my ecopsychology blog, but Blogger disallows pages outside the blog hierarchy. So it goes!

Spending time at my secret spot outside (a la Jon Young) is kicking my butt because the ticks are getting brutal. There's not a lot of lyme disease around these parts, luckily, but still I have to be vigilant about making sure none of the buggers are tapped in for longer than 24 hours.

It's all about: take a hike, sit for half an hour, hike back home, strip down, throw clothes in the hot wash immediately, body check, shower, body check, get dressed and then proceed to have the heebie jeebies (or more accurately the creepy crawlies) the rest of the night as imagined ticks swarm all over me.

And, inevitably, I find one the next morning, sunk in and kicking back.

Repelling mosquitoes is easier. I admittedly have gone the Deet route, but it creeps me out. Skin-so-Soft? Not-so-much: it doesn't works for long against the serious mosquito clouds I encounter in the North Florida forests. Recently I found this great advice about natural bug repellent on the Fabulous Forager. But I'm lazy, and haven't concocted my own homemade bug repellents yet.

However, something that does work is lighting a stick of incense or two around me. The incense smoke keeps the mosquitos away and also reinforces my own meditation practice. Purists may argue that this is making too much of a human footprint. My goal is not to be invisible in nature, but to be recognized by the non-human others and accepted. And, by way of verification, the squirrels haven't alarmed me in over a month.

Anyone got more advice? My skin will thank you.


ermaloff said...

Ack, I feel like something is crawling on me just after reading that! Have you thought about changing your sitting spot? Ticks like certain types of vegetation more than others (they love ivy), and perhaps you'll get a little more relief if you stop invading their home. :P

Cornbread said...

I think Dow Chemicals makes a neoprene/latex full-bodied condom, which is really the best defense against parasitic predators. Don't buy one unless it's certified to be 100% perma-coated in a non-permeable layer of high-concentrate DEET. Death to the bloodsuckers!

dungan said...

Cornbread, I was considering just giving myself a flea dip everyday, but this neoprene body condom really could solve all my woes!

And Ermaloff, (scratch, scratch) I'm fixing to change my sitting spot to California in about a month. The ticks will have Florida (scratch, scratch) all to themselves again. Seriously, that's a good thought but it's all pine forest with young hardwoods, there is no tick free zone. (Scratch.)