Forest fires, floods.

Hurricanes, tornadoes and earthquakes.

Landslides, angry people, riots.

Lightning, monsoons, dust storms.

Hail storms, blizzards.

I’ve encountered all of these at one time or another in my career.  Nothing quite prepares you for what the Laguna de Santa Rosa can dish out west of town.

I speak of the Tick.

The tick is an insidious parasite that is in search of it’s one source of pleasure.  Blood.  Namely mine.

Today it was a simple assignment to photograph ludwigia, the aquatic plant that has gorged itself on the fertile laguna.  From history, I know that the area is infested with ticks.  It’s common to pick up a few.  I rarely stay more than 20 minutes.  I hate putting on repellent (my fault) because I’m not sure what it does to your insides.

So there I was with Laguna de Santa Rosa Foundation’s executive director David Bannister spotting birds and photographing him in the ludwigia.  After the shoot, I found five ticks on my pant legs. David kept saying it was a bummer that the had dark pants on.  It’s a rule that you should wear light colored clothing to spot the ticks.  Well, I had light colored pants on and found them quite easily.

However, it was the seven other I pulled off this evening on my neck, chest and legs that gave me the heebie jeebies. I was clear the entire spring.  12 in one day makes up for the tick drought.

Next time I put on the chemicals.

Laguna de Santa Rosa Foundation's executive director David Bannister spots birds in the knee-high ludwigia-choked Laguna de Santa Rosa north of Occidental Road, Thursday June 6, 2013 in Santa Rosa. (Kent Porter / Press Democrat) 2013

-Kent Porter