He loves to walk on the Common around our home, and for him this time of year heralds blackberry picking. I think he must give off pheramones attractive to ticks as he wanders through the waving grasses, because on several occasions over the years, he has returned home with at least one on either his arm or leg even though he wears long-sleeved shirts and long trousers. We are informed that the ones round here do not carry the borreliosis bacteria which can cause Lyme Disease, but it is advisable to remove them. A few days ago he drew my attention to a black dot on his ankle so off I went to get my tweezers, it is important not to squash them whilst in situ. I am resolved now to get a proper tick remover as it is important that the contents of the ticks stomach are not regurgitated as you pull it out. I managed to retrieve the little creature, squeezed it between my fingers to make sure it was dead, and put it on H's fingernail so that I could inspect it under the magnifying eye glass. Having thought that I had killed it, I was shocked when straightaway the little beast scuttled off into the corner of his nail. Quickly, we then decided the safest place to put it was on the kitchen worktop. I am talking here about a creature that looks like a black dot to the naked eye, not much bigger than a poppy seed. When I peered at it through my eye glass I was totally intrigued by what I saw.
A Tick is a blood sucking arthropod related to spiders, mites and scorpions. This one is a male, the female has a longer body and legs, and the Nymph has six legs, not sure at what stage it grows an extra pair of legs!!! He has stripes on his body and eight legs, and two sharp needle pointed fangs at its front. I took the photo with my eye glass angled above it and then used the macro shot on my camera
We are enjoying an Indian Summer at the moment. This photo was taken in our garden during sunset last night. The days are still, and calm, with the sun shinning down on us from dawn to dusk.
Miscanthus sinensis Zebrinus - Zebra grass