That Agape Family

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Tag: bugs

Tick Key – A Great Stocking Stuffer

Hello Friends! Have you ever heard of ticks? Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past 3 years, you’ve probably heard of them, or even encountered them. As we’re no stranger to the outdoors, we have been exposed as well. When Little Miss was 3 years old, we found a tick embedded in the back of her neck, right along her hairline. Eek! Once I had composed myself, we went straight over to the ER, as I didn’t know how to remove it properly.

** Warning: A slightly graphic tick story **

When we arrived, the nurses were so excited, as they had yet to see a tick! They kept calling others over to check it out. When we were seen by the emerge doctor, he said “wow! This is my first time seeing a tick in my 10 years working in the ER!” I must say, that was not exactly a comforting thing to hear… In the end, the head came off as he was trying to remove the tick with tweezers, so he had to make a small incision to remove the rest of it. As he was trying to pull it out, I knew in my mind that this was not the best way, but I didn’t say anything. However, I did decide that I would not be coming back to remove a tick, if ever the situation arose again. Little Miss ended up developing her first double ear infection 2 days later, and I think that that was largely due to the stress of the situation. She did not develop Lyme Disease, thank God.

About a year later, we were at a conservation area, and they had the Original Tick Key available for purchase in their gift store. I immediately bought it, and put it on my keychain, just in case.

Tick Key

Lo and behold, the following year, Tipper (our handsome Goldendoodle) had a tick embedded on his chest. I grabbed my handy dandy Tick Key, and out it came with no muss, no fuss. I got the whole thing with one steady pull of the key. You put the key over the tick, with the tick in the large hole. You then pull along the skin (not away from the body) in one steady motion (don’t start and stop – one swift motion).

Tick Key 1Tick Key 2

Folks, if you live anywhere near a wooded area, or if you ever go exploring in the great outdoors, this is an amazingly simple, effective, solid piece of equipment. I’ve had the one in these pictures for about 3 years as a keychain, and it hasn’t bent whatsoever. I highly recommend having one on hand “just in case”. They make a great stocking stuffer!

Blessings!

Liz

 

The Forest is Changing

“The forest is changing…” was Little Miss’ observation this last week in the forest.

Here she is making her observations of what she’s seen, about a month ago:

(I thought her boots were in the car. I was mistaken… Oh well! I forgot my boots, too!) The giant tree tumbled down sometime during a fierce windstorm in the previous couple of weeks. When we returned a couple of weeks later, the tree had settled substantially lower, and left a beautiful mud hole for the children’s enjoyment:

The children spent a lot of time discovering the bugs that had made homes, or had their homes recently upturned. They investigated the effects of mud on boots (sluuuurp), and the month earlier, they explored the clay that had formed deep below the tree’s roots.

But Little Miss’ observation that “the forest is changing…” was spot on, and completely spontaneous. Although a month ago we were starting to see little buds all over, this last week it was so much more pronounced. And these beautiful Trout Lilies scattered the forest floor:

I can’t wait to get back out there this week, to see what else has sprung up.

What is “spring”ing up around your area?

Blessings,

Liz

The Cicada Scene

Ah, cicadas. The sound of summer. There’s nothing quite like the remarkably loud buzz of the cicada to remind you of summers past. But man, are those things creepy! It kind of throws you off, when you’re walking down the street, and you see a massive bug on the sidewalk, or an exoskeleton hanging off a tree, no?

Well, we had a great time learning about cicadas this last week. It all started in a park… The Littles and I were meeting up with some fellow homeschooling families. Little Miss C (3.5) was playing around on the playground, and we noticed that there were some wasps buzzing around something on the ground. Upon closer inspection, we found that it was a partially eaten cicada:

Neat! We’re always up for exploring dead bugs, so we checked it out, and put it back down for the wasps’ dinner. As we went back to join our friends, we discovered that they were spending their time collecting cicada exoskeletons:

They also realized that there were many small holes around the trees, where the cicadas had come out of hibernation. Did you know cicadas can hibernate for as long as 13-17 years? Cool!

Here is Little Miss C exploring a cicada hole. She was curious as to how deep it was:

Here is a recently emerged cicada, however likely not long for this world, as it has an underdeveloped wing – an excellent opportunity to discuss the life cycle of the cicada. I love the bright colours.

And here is a cicada mid-emergence! This was a very neat experience. The cicada was vibrating its body, I believe to help stretch out its wings to allow them to dry off.

What are your favourite sounds of summer?

To listen to the cicada’s buzz, click here.

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