17 June 2010

Catching Up

So here we are into the second half of June and I haven't posted since early on the first, before we headed south for my grandmother's funeral. Suffice to say it's been busy as all hell since I got home, and I'm just beginning to feel like I'm breaking the surface a bit to catch my breath. So I guess the thing to do at this point is backtrack a little and talk a bit about the trip.

Mostly it was just good to spend time with family and catch up a little with members of the extended family and people who may as well be family, some of whom I hadn't seen in years. It was also nice to be there with everything all leafed out and lush (And HUMID! Sweet FSM, was it humid!). I'm pretty sure I could never live in that climate again, but little doses remind me of my childhood, and I'm perfectly okay with that.

Another echo of my childhood came the day after the funeral. I had an errand to run and on my way back to my parents' house I spied this beauty on the side of the road:

painted_turtle

As far as I can tell, she's an Eastern Painted Turtle of considerable age and, had I weighed and measured her, possibly of record size. She'd left a small farm pond nearby looking for some nicer real estate, but if I hadn't stopped to pick her up, she'd have likely ended up as a turtle pancake on a hot country road.

So after taking her back to my folks' and snapping a few photos, I took her off to the edge of the woods, through which she could get to my grandfather's pond and the creek. I sat down for a bit to see if she'd come out of her shell for a better photo, but she was having none of it. I did, however, manage to pick up a mess of these:

chigger

That, friends, is a genuine chigger, a true Southern institution and a rite of passage I really don't enjoy repeating. On the other hand, there were some ripe blackberries near at hand, so just maybe the pleasure slightly mitigated the ungodly itch.

11 comments:

JelliDonut said...

Chiggers! Yuck! Hadn't thought about those buggers for the longest. What I miss are fireflies.

Sorry for your loss. I hope the visit was pleasant otherwise.

Jabacue said...

Geez! I'm scratching all over!!! Thanks.
They look like a tick from this distance but much smaller I guess. Poor you...how long does the itch last?

Nice to get home I bet and mingle with family and friends. Welcome back to blogworld.

tornwordo said...

Sorry about the grandma, I hope you all had a nice celebration of her life. I'll think about that chigger when I'm freezing to death in winter. At least we don't have those up here.

Gramily said...

They're all cute, really, the turtle, the chigger and most of all Mary Merchant.

Lisa/knitnzu said...

BLECK CHIGGERS! NOT A THING CUTE ABOUT THEM!!!!!!!! I missed out on those when we were in central PA, but you can bet I was not happy they were a possibility. Yet another bad result of the area not being glaciated in the last glaciation (I can rather blather on about this issue). I do miss black raspberries... haven't found any 'round here. And I suppose tomatoes are just nicer in the mid Atlantic too.

tracy said...

Love the turtle pic! My husband has seen them "migrating" across the road, just down the street from us in the mornings. Luckily, the people seem nice, like you!

We have an "accidental" pet turtle. She's fun.

Hope your trip was good and filled with lovely memories of your grandma.

Alwen said...

We have ticks, poison ivy, and black raspberries, but no chiggers that I've encountered. So far.

I spotted a little snapping turtle crossing the road a couple of days ago, in time to miss it. I hope it made it the rest of the way!

MollyBeees said...

Awww! She's too cute. Did I tell you that my dad carved his initials in a baby turtle's shell when he was a boy and then found the turtle again 25 years later while he was out fishing? Even made the paper!

that's J-O-S-H said...

A kid on my freshmen dorm floor had chiggers! Ew! He has red splotches and shit all over his body. Makes sense though...he would spend days sleeping naked in the forest and (even worse!) would use the public showers wiffout flip-flopz on!

tigeryogiji said...

I'm so sorry to hear about the loss of your grandmother. I'll keep you in my thoughts and prayers...

Java said...

I love fresh blackberries, but not enough to suffer chiggers! Haven't gotten chiggers since I was a teenager.